Typical Dutch URk
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Early summer morning in the Netherlands

The blue sky gives away the promise of a hot day. In the Netherlands ‘hot’ is defined with a temperature well above 25º Celsius. Low humidity and hardly any wind, or wind coming from overland and not sea-wind. Sea wind usually has a chill in it because the North Sea never warms up enough.

The KNMI, the Dutch Weather bureau often declares codes: like red, when it is getting too hot for most Dutch and sends out notifications that the national emergency heat plan is effective.
It rarely happens. Most days the temperature nearly reaches 25 degrees and stays there. But today the sky promises me a hot day. The weather forecast yesterday shows a day in my region of close to 30º C (86 F) There is no wind, yet the cool air of the night is still in my backyard, chilling my skin. I promise myself a slow day as I water the potted plants.

The garden needs some TLC but I’m not in the mood for a battle with weeds and insects. Instead, I move inside. because of the age of the house, my living room is always cold. In summer that is a blessing, in winter that is a punishment. I love hot, cold is not my thing.

Windows are open in every room of the house, to let yesterday’s heat out and today’s cool morning in. The heat upstairs is a contradiction with the chilly living room downstairs.
yet I will miss this little house with cold walls, leaking roofs, and stupid plumbing.

My iCal tells me I should make an appointment tomorrow for my visa appliance. And reality downs on me once more. I’ve gone through all these stages lately, due to a hormonal activity I guess, but I went from sheer panic to ecstatic joy over my new future. The idea of not having a home address anymore does some weird things with my emotions.

Again I tried to explain to a friend how my life will be after September 30. And actually, I’m getting a bit tired of explaining why and how. Maybe the next person asking I just say: I needed a change of scenery. People find it hard to believe I give up so much for a life filled with uncertainty. But I wonder if there is so much good stuff left in the Netherlands. To many, we seem to be the land of hope and freedom, but I’ve watched the ongoing decline of healthcare and social security just too long to believe in a steady future in this country. Especially with the idiotic rules and laws, the European Union is about to imply on its members. There will be a  “United States of Europe”  within 10 years from now unless someone wakes up. because I believe that financially they can’t pull it off and massive bankruptcy will follow. And maybe then all of ‘us’ living here will become refugees to other countries. And me being a trendsetter I have already escaped the failing regime by then.

Tulips Netherlands

Dutch people have way too much faith in their leaders and their economic situation. And they simply refuse to see the big picture when it comes to all the moves the European Union is making. Or they are too busy working their asses off to pay the ever-increasing bills on housing, health insurance, electricity, food, and gas? Let alone taxes that need to be paid.

That sounds grumpy, doesn’t it? But I have been in politics too long to ignore the signs. And after all: I needed a change of scenery. For one who loves to travel, I haven’t done so great lately. My last proper holiday, apart from a long weekend trip occasionally, was over 5 years ago. A 4 weeks road trip to Spain and back.

I’m looking forward to new beaches, new horizons, and new housing. And yet it also scares me. It sounds so brave, doesn’t it? To start a new life at my age. But it might be the stupidest thing to do. When will I know? I have no idea! Maybe the moment I pass customs in Manila? Or maybe after half a year when I miss that cool breeze of a summer night lingering in the garden in the morning?
Maybe never, maybe in two months from now?

Typical Dutch

I hope never. After all how hard can it be to start a new life? When I get tired of traveling I can settle down where ever I like. Rent a house for a few months, see how that works out. I think what is bothering me the most is that I have no plans. Being a structural control freaky kind of drama queen I love to know what the future is holding, and apart from lots of heat and rain seasons, I really have no idea what my future will look like. All I know now is that there is a brand new backpack upstairs, packed with a brand new wardrobe, waiting for me to carry it out of this house to an airport.
That is the scariest part for me: to let go.
To not know.
To live in the moment, even if it is a dragging, boring moment.

I sip my coffee and stare at the butterfly bush, most flowers have withered. There is a brimstone butterfly doing whatever butterflies are doing. And high up in the sky I see the barn swallows catching insects. It is an early summer morning in the Netherlands. It’s August. By the end of September, this morning will be part of my past life.

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