“Goedemiddag, dames en heren. Wij woonden in Bussum tot drie jaar geleden. Nu wonen wij in Utrecht.”
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We lived in Bussum until three years ago. Now we live in Utrecht.
I wanted very much to connect with the audience, all of them strangers except for one.
Bussum and its sister city Naarden lie in the famous Gooi (pronounced “hoy”) east of Amsterdam, an area generally known for its affluent residents in the big standalone houses of Het Spiegel next to the Naarden-Bussum train station.
The only person we knew in the audience was Esta, a lady from the foundation that booked and arranged our concert schedules. She appears now and then, always unannounced and always a welcome surprise. This time she spoke only Dutch to me.
I am very happy to see that you are speaking Dutch, Anne. Shall I announce you and what you will play? Or will you do the talking?
I told her that I had started taking private lessons in Dutch, once a week, two hours each lesson. I said that I had written down what I was going to say in Dutch.
Good. Finally I will hear you talk in Dutch.
The guitarist and I waited at the door while Esta went to the microphone to open the concert. The microphone did not work. The volunteer who had earlier greeted us stood up. She tried to look for the switch. Another lady got up to help. It took them a few minutes to figure out the problem. A ha! It worked.
By the time we walked on stage, we just wanted to play.