Let's start this story with a confession and understatement: my Friday the 13th trackrecord isn't the best ever. I'm not superstitious, but did manage to get my heart broken 3 times on a Friday the 13th within 3 years BY THE SAME GUY, among other things. Maybe it's a coincidence (I also could've been smarter and should've left after the first time) but it does make one wonder...right? I always check the calendar to see whether the 13th is on a Friday so I can at least try to not tempt fate on those days and avoid planning events that could potentially end bad (like 1st dates or jumping off a snowy mountain with a parachute). You know, just in case. But last February I forgot to check and I ended up parapenting from a Swiss mountain...
I'm back! The last 6 weeks were weirdly chaotic- in the midst of dental surgeon visits, a last minute trip to Switzerland, celebrating awesome people's birthdays while partially looking like the swollen version of Harry Potters' Aunt Marge, I had a mini writers block and total lack of concentration. Very annoying. But I'm back! I promise to post new blogs weekly again, got a lot of stories in my head waiting to be written down- like the time I decided to jump off a mountain (with a parachute) on Friday the 13th and looked like Bridget Jones trying to land gracefully. Or the time my brother and I had a ski lesson from a very tan guy who kept losing me along the way down. Or maybe about hydrospeeding in Chile when the river was a lot wilder than I hoped?
Like I said, I've got some typing to do! But first a quick update about the last few weeks...
A few years ago my mother and I spend a weekend in Milan, eating & shopping our way through the city. On our last night we had a lovely dinner with lots of wine, the Best Tiramisu I've Ever Had and a (very) handsome (young) waiter with a great accent who was (unsuccessfully) trying to convince my mother to marry him and take him back to the Netherlands in her suitcase. She will probably deny this ever happened and say it was me he was after. He wasn't.
We decided to take a taxi back to the hotel and luckily didn't have to wait at all; the first taxi we saw hit the brakes and stopped next to us. The driver was a man in his sixties, very Italian, very kind and happy to drive us even though it was only 400 meters (something to blame on me wearing very high heels and drinking prosecco all day long). We got into the backseat of the car and the driver kept looking and smiling at us through his rear-view mirror, trying to communicate but our Italian is pretty much only Food & Wine-related... apart from those topics we're totally clueless. His English was slightly better than our Italian so he felt confident enough to give it a try anyway.
He looked at me in the review-mirror and then at my mom, asking her very seriously 'Is He your child?'
My mom responded with her perfect English accent (think Stewie Griffin from the Family Guy) 'Well yes, SHE is my child!'
He said 'Oh!', looked over his shoulder and said and nearly yelled
'You have a BEAUTIFUL son!'
I silently promised him I'd pass on the compliment to my unsuspecting brother...
When I returned to the car after visiting my granny, I had a lovely encounter with an elderly lady in a wheelchair. She was sitting in the shade somewhere between the entrance of the nursing home and my moms car so I had no choice but to walk past her. When I did, I smiled my friendliest smile (which is a bit creepy but it beats not smiling) and greeted her. She smiled a toothless smile back and took a good look at me, from my head to my toes and back again. It was a nice Summer day and I was wearing a black dress with my trusted ancient black Converse- I'll admit it wasn't the classiest look ever- but totally appropriate when visiting ones grandmother on the 'less populated side' of Holland. When the lady was done observing me she sat up straight in her wheelchair and told me in a loud voice
'Bare legs! They are SO pale. Those legs are white!'
I stopped walking, looked down my black dress at my bare legs and had no choice but to agree with her. I was taken aback by this old ladies fierceness but not totally shocked since it's a well known fact that I, indeed, do not tan very well.
At all. Can't say I look much different in July than I do in January, freckles aside.
'Sun. You need sun because they're pale. Sunshine will fix that, you know. A little sunshine for a nice tan.' She scratched the hairy mole on her chin and continued her monologue 'Because they really are, quite pale.'
I agreed with her and she looked pleased 'But don't tan too much or you'll burn. Then they'll be red, which isn't good either'. She paused for a second and dramatically exclaimed
'But even RED would be better than white, because your legs REALLY are quite pale!'
I thanked her for this great conversation (yet not so great for me confidence-wise) and when I walked away towards the car I heard her mutter behind my back '...so white, those legs, they are so white...'
Last year, my mother decided it was time for her to get a new laptop and I volunteered (as a tribute) to help her on this quest in a local tech store. We were slowly walking around the shop in circles, gazing at all the shiny objects but unable to figure out what she needed vs. what looked good. Luckily we got rescued by an eager pimply employee and a laptop meeting my moms standards was found within minutes.
I tried to ask some more question to make sure this was the shiny object she needed but I was interrupted by my mother, who turned to the guy and asked -in a way that would make Ron Weasly proud- '...but...can there be internet...on the laptop...?'
She was serious. Needless to say she caught the poor guy off guard with this deep question. While he needed some seconds to regroup, I on the other hand completely lost my cool and couldn't stop laughing until we left the store minutes later -with the laptop.
So... Here we are, finally! Super excited to share some parts of my life with you! I'll write about my travels, favorite foods, recipes & other weird stories- I promise I won't be oversharing (much). I have a 'gift' of getting myself in quite a lot of weird situations on a daily base, my clumsiness & awkwardness aren't helping. Strange dates like the guy carrying a suitcase- exactly big enough to carry a male hipbone, mysterious neighbours that steal bbq's and a b*tch from Brazil trying to frame me (& subsequently spending a day at a police station on a n island in Brazil with nobody speaking English), I've seen it all - don't worry, I'm sure this will all happen again in the near future.
I love writing and reading and am currently enrolled at the Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam to help me put my words and stories on paper. It's a lot of fun (and hard work), I'm learning a lot and fiiinally found the motivation -and courage- to go 'public' (yay). I've even joined the Tweeting population (My mother was on Twitter way before me. Seriously.). I'm still figuring out how Instagram works, 'cause 'Gramming is apparently the way to go- I blame my lack of social media skills on the suspicion that I'm an old soul, I'll get there (eventually).
I'd love to hear from you!
Hi! I'm Merel, Dutch & living in The Netherlands & Spain. I love to write, cook & travel. I'm a huge fan of puns, my friends & flan. My special talents are getting lost when looking at a map & walking into furniture/people/doors.