Around the time I turned 24 I figuratively lost my wooden shoe, while living in New Hampshire, USA. After having lived there for 16 years I returned home to the Netherlands. What was supposed to be a one year adventure turned into a longer stay because it turned out, I love America.
For those of you who don’t know or never heard of New Hampshire, it is a State in the Northern part of the United States and similar in size to the whole of the Netherlands. The exception is that New Hampshire is filled with trees, lakes, deer, mountains, and some people. The Netherlands is filled with people on bikes, people in cars, dogs, and some trees. I still find it endlessly ironic that the tallest people in the world are crowded together in one of the smallest countries in the world. I am the Dutch Cow Girl, not like cowgirl but Cow Girl. Why? Not only am I the proud daughter of a butcher (this always sounds like I am somehow the offspring of a serial killer thanks to the crime writers) but I once was sold for 10 cows to a prince looking for a Cinderella in wooden shoes. Thankfully, the deal never went through, but the character was created. After you live in a different country for so long, you change. In a way you don’t really fit anywhere anymore. This sounds a bit sad but it isn’t, except that every now and then my Dutch sounds like I grew up on a different planet, and my American sounds like a Yankee with a Canadian accent. I can neither speak nor write English or Dutch without making mistakes so for this purpose (unedited) I apologize beforehand to the language purists. No matter how hard my American colleagues tried I kept writing diner when I meant dinner and I kept saying “making pictures” instead of taking them. This is my blog, where I write stories for you in English, not Dutch. English leads to funny, Dutch leads to sarcasm. More about that little cultural difference later. You can look forward to stories about wooden houses, red pants, shorts in the snow, hunting, open bar at weddings, Californian stop, space and water. And about that wooden shoe I lost? Found it back a few weeks ago, floating in the stream behind our house in the Netherlands.