Henk and Bea, the in-laws, returned to The Netherlands* this afternoon, after a 2 week visit. We had a great time, somehow relaxing yet doing something every day. There were only three days that I didn’t swim somewhere, usually at a beach. We ate a lot. I learned a bit more Dutch, and got used to the sounds a bit more as they spoke a lot of Dutch, only some of which I recognised, e.g. Blah blah blah blah eighty blah blah morning blah blah Darryn blah blah he blah refrigerator. Whenever they spoke in Dutch, I knew that they were talking about me. I didn’t mind, since it must have been complimentary. It was about me, after all 🙂
I was surprised to find that I was a bit sad to see them go. I will see them soon, I have set March 15th 2005 as the day that I will move to Holland. I have written about this before but there is still some to add. It is both scary and liberating. Scary because I am leaving the comfort zone, liberating because I am starting again. This decision has also had another new side-effect – I have started thinking less short-term, although this is possibly just because of aging. I know what I am doing in a year, I know what I intend to do in two years (work for a Large Software Company). I even have plans for further into the future, and I am not even in a Big Plans phase at the moment.
* I wrote Nederland originally, but changed it because it seemed wanky. But in the last few weeks I have found that some words I think of in Dutch instead of Engels, even English words. An example would be referring to the koelkast instead of the fridge. A lot of things were lekker. They say that when you think in another language that you have crossed a line, and I guess that has happened to me. I still have very few clues when listening to real Dutch though, and even less when speaking. I also discovered that I remember a lot more French than I would have thought. Bea is more comfortable in French than English and often switches mid-sentence, and usually I am able to understand anyway. I still have a long way to go before I am conversing with Pierre in Gay Paree or Pieter in Amsterdam.