In general, our daily lives in Holland look like something out of a euphoric time capsule, mostly having to do with the incredible amount of time we have in our days to just simply live. Morning walks with the dog, cooking every night and an obscene amount of Wii Star Wars adds up to a hefty amount of leisurely hours for Dave and me. An amount that would have made me guffaw in disbelief five years ago.
Sounds like a fairy tale as I speak.
But certainly nothing in life comes without a price.
The foundation behind all that free time is rooted in anonymity. Not that we are without friends. But that, even after four years, we often wonder if we just landed here and we allow ourselves to long for the creature comforts of being in the Homeland. And if the feeling lingers for more than just a moment, we are probably headed for a week or two of malaise. It seems to go like that. Either it passes as quickly as a cloud, or it sticks like gum on the bottom of your proverbial shoe.
In spite of the obvious good times and the ridiculously fantastic weather in recent days, my inner dialogue in recent days has taken Scrooge-like proportions. Biking to the grocery store on cold days (Dear Mom...please send Gortex), spending what amounts to $14 at the American market for a tiny box of Grape Nuts (oh hallowed import cereal that always stays crunchy in milk...how I yearn for thee), and missing the generally-accepted practice in America for spas to have separate male/female changing rooms...and for people walking around public spaces in said spas to just generally be...well...to just be not naked...
I know, I know. I'm asking too much of our current postal code. But if I may - and with accompanying stomping of feet, balling of fists and pouting lip - I just want this place to be...America!
At least just this week.