Saturday, 28 June 2008

Keep straight on past the Käsefabrik

It sounded quite straightforward: our German friends had told us on a postcard, "Take the main road north out of the town, turn left at the second ronkleboot and the farm is one kilometre further on, on the right".

Ronkleboot threw us but we guessed that it might refer to a boat: perhaps the impresario Bob van Ronkel kept a couple of his houseboats moored on a river running alongside the road, and called them Ronkelbooten. Anyway, we reckoned that there was no need to ask for clarification, because whatever the thing was, it must be quite a landmark; we would notice the first one and be ready to turn left at the second.

It was not until we had passed half a dozen roundabouts that it came to us that we had misread our friends' cramped handwriting. Obviously they had wanted to be helpful and used the English word, spelt quite correctly but badly written; if only they had used their word (Verkehrskarussell?, Verkehrskreisel?) we could simply have looked it up.

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