The Date

The truth is I have never been asked out on a date in my life. Not ever. Don’t feel too bad. It’s just not a question that existed in our Dutch vocabulary ten years ago – when I was datable.

When I tell this to New Yorkers they ask me; ‘Then how DID you guys ever manage to hook up?’ Well, we engaged in what I would call initiating co-responsable get-togethers. The following is a short example of how the above would be executed at a party – between two potential lovers. Person one mentions a movie. Person two says he or she hasn’t seen that movie yet. And suggests;
‘We really should go see it before it leaves town.’ Subtle opportunity presents itself. Leave it to us Dutch to deal with that.
‘How about we check it out on Sunday, let’s say, the first performance?’ Now scoring the goal is easy;
‘Sounds like a plan! See you there’, will set the stage. In those days movies only played in one location at the time. That was helpful. All you had to do is get on your bike on Sunday. No pressure. Not a word exchanged about the definition of the encounter. Who is dating who? Are two friends just getting together? Who knows? You each pay your own way so who CARES??!!

Gracefully declining without inflicting refusal trauma was painless too;
‘Sorry. I need to take my grandmother to church on Sundays.’
Taking the hint one would change the subject, and the next question could be;
‘What church does she belong to?’ Easy as pie. No harm done.

I know. Must sound like a dream come true to you American men out there. Here’s an interesting detail. My American boyfriend never asked me out on a date either. Not once. All he ever continued to suggest was; ‘Let’s go Dutch!!’

I blame the famous saying You can take the girl out of the culture, but you can’t take the culture out of the girl. Hey, I love him. But when the subject of his behaviour came up during the research for my documentary on dating, my American girlfriend Liz looked at me as if I were an alien. (I am. Legally!) To say that she was shocked and disgusted is an understatement. So my advice to you American guys (unless you’re dating a Dutch girl) is; ‘Don’t try the Go Dutch thing at home!

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The Encounter

God loves New Yorkers. How do I know? Well, you don’t think any of us REALLY know how to install an airconditioner, do you? I know for a fact non of us do. Yet we all need one. Or two. And sure, we try our best to get it right. We know it is a mighty heavy object to have land on your head – if it ever did decide to drop down.

New Yorkers have a strong sense of responsability when it comes to the well-being of their fellow men. So we try to buy an airconditioner that fits the window perfectly. We don’t mind spending a little extra. But even if our tape measure said it did fit, in the end, it never does. So we call our super to the rescue. He tries to be helpful attaching some pieces of wood for extra support. We still have our doubts but we can’t think of any other option than to just hope for the best.

We even say a prayer. And the prayer seems to work! I have never heard of an airconditioner-related accident. We have been known to slip and end up on the subway tracks, walk under buses, and fall into potholes. But when it comes to air conditioners, we New Yorkers seem to have a little guardian angel watching over all of us. Thank God! I don’t even want to think of the consequences should something like ever happen to me.

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Welcome to my Blog!

As you can see, it’s a work in progress.

Soon you’ll be able to read my comic strip Dree in the Big Apple – New York adventures as experienced and seen through my European eyes.

I’ll share my love for this city and its residents, my thoughts on food (I’m a passionate vegan chef so there will be some yummy recipes to check out too!), and some ‘food for thought’ – stuff I think is worth thinking about.

For now, do check out the documentary films and ceramics of a Dutch girl living and working in Amsterdam and New York!

See you later…