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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Why we want to leave (emigrate to France)

The idea originated from me, but Ruud got infected with it. Infected I say, because it's him who pushed the sale of our house through, so who is the hero? We want to leave the Netherlands because we believe that quality of life in France is better. We aren't Francophiles, we do not drink more wine than others and we don't drive a camper, we search mostly space and sunshine, preferably as nearby as possible.
As a child I lived for two years in the south of Corsica. The life in a watermill next to a waterfall in the mountains was hard, so I was told later. We were not allowed on the toilet because the rats crept up through the sewer, there were poisonous scorpions, in the winter it was freezing cold and we lived on French bread and warm cocoa.

Me and my brother at the river next to our house

But of all the misery I do not remember a bit. The baguette with butter and cocoa were delicious to me. I remember the donkeys and the sound of cowbells and the fragrance of a spicy little plant that grew all over the island. I remember the hot summers and the sweet smell of human excrement drying in the sun. I remember a wild and lovely paradise where everything creeps and crawls.

Me and two of my brothers at the watermill where we lived. We played within the confinement of the chicken wire fence, because out there it was to dangerous.

And I remember the overwhelming greyness of the Netherlands on a cold day in July 1962 when we returned. The tiled gardens, the grey tarmac of the motorways, the smell of old men and cigars in confined spaces and people sadly staring from behind the windows outside to the clouds and cars. That feeling has never left me.

July 14, 1962 - Return to the Netherlands. From left to right Uncle Hein, Grandma Mies with Bastiaan, Mummie with Maurits, me, Marc, Uncle Jan.

My mothers family consisted of humble, Roman Catholic civil servants that never got any further than the beach at Zandvoort. For those times this was nothing special or exceptional. Holidays to faraway places were exclusively for the upper-class. But the difference actually was they never wanted to go any further. My fathers family on the other hand had an almost voluptuous desire for everything far, unknown and dangerous. The contrast couldn't have been any bigger. The hatred between these families went further then throwing a little mud, it was a battle between the devout and pagan, between heaven and hell, God and the Devil.
The departure of my mother to a desolate wilderness on Corsica could, as seen by my grandparents, only have happened by the devilish influence of the unleashed artistic gang that was the family of my father. I know for sure that for my grandmother, the return of my mother to the Netherlands was experienced as a definitive breach with the evil: my fathers family.

posted by Ruud at 3:26 AM

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May 2006
- Compromis de vente
- How to buy a house
- Rain
- Termites, lead, asbestos
- Patience
- Rotterdam
- Why we want to leave
- We have a home
- Welcome
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
June 2008
March 2008
February 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
July 2007
June 2007
April 2007
March 2007
January 2007
September 2006
Augustus 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006




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