I feel so proud of myself today because I wasted no time in calling up the Dutch teacher recommended by the embassy. They'd recommended two, but one is currently too busy, and I had to wait till today to call the second. She seems keen to help and is really friendly. That's my experience with the Dutch - if they're nice, they're really, really nice.
Talking to frachely on MSN as well, she gave me an idea that I could use podcasts to improve my listening skills. She had listened to an Italian mp3 on her way to work for two weeks prior to her Italian trip, and it seemed to really help in her pronunciation and speech. So I just subscribed to Laura Speaks Dutch, which received good reviews, and so far after listening to 3 episodes, I'm really happy with it.
(I just went to the balcony to bring my laundry rack in, and glanced at the neighbour's balcony where he has really big leafy green plants. So jealous. Mine are literally hanging onto their last leaf. It's an oasis in his balcony and the desert in mine.)
Tonight I'll receive an email from the teacher with her schedule, and I hope she has enough time to give me an intensive course, because I aim to sit for the inburgering exam at the end of November, or at the latest, mid-December.
Will keep you guys up-to-date with my progress!
On the subject of language, I also met with the chef at WIP (Bangsar Shopping Centre) who's French, and he seems to be quite willing to help me practise my French. I don't know how good an idea it is to be practising two different languages at the same time (Dutch and French are from different "families" as well, so they're not as similar to each other as French is to Italian/Spanish and Dutch is to German/English), but it would be good to be able to brush up on my French anyway.
And talking about WIP, I'll be working behind the bar every Friday and Saturday, so if you wanna have a night out in a hip restaurant, come visit! Do make a reservation on Fridays though, as they're always fully booked.