Monday, 19 May 2014

Going Dutch

When I first moved to my little red wooden cottage in the Norwegian countryside, I had to get a satellite dish to be able to watch tv. The guy who came was a very friendly man who turned out to live on the same road. Not only did he live on the same road however, so did his neighbours, who happened to be Dutch. Would he be allowed to tell them that I (being Dutch as well) lived in this little cottage just here? Of course. I later learned that several other Dutch families lived close by as well. 

Last Friday it was busy in town with everybody trying to get home early so they could get their May 17th stuff in order and I decided to take another route home. Via a large shopping center. Because I had to get some last minute things as well. As I stood in this huge supermarket trying to figure out whether I would get a pin or some napkins to celebrate the upcoming day, I heard something familiar. Now, when you live abroad you quickly realise that sometimes it's tourists speaking, other times it's new natives speaking. This time it was new natives. Speaking in my own language: Dutch! 

And then, after only a few words spoken between us, he asked me where I lived. And when I told him where, she exclaimed that she knew who I was! And then I knew immediately who they were. We all lived on the same road! Sometimes the world is a big place. 

Later that evening, when I was at home, there was a knock on the door. Which is a rarity. It was the Dutch lady. They would be having a gathering at their house on Saturday evening to celebrate May 17th. Would I like to come as well? Ehm... yes! I would love to. 

The evening was great. Met some new people, amongst which the satellite installer and his wife, the vicar and his wife, a gentleman I never caught the name of (or spoke to) and another couple who were really nice as well. Most of them had seen me somewhere but couldn't quite place it (the newspaper article of a few months ago). It was a really lovely evening. 

If our buses start to look like this, I will quit!
Now, I mentioned before that the world is a big place. It can be a small one as well. Since the Dutch couple who had invited me actually hail from the place I lived in for nearly fourteen years prior to my move to Norway! I mean, as coincidences go, that is not a bad one!


  1. I am quite shocked by the [American] football unis. Do they really play it over there?

  2. Hari OM
    It's a marvel is it not - yet I am not really that surprised. It is lovely to think that in a year or so I might actually get to meet my new neighbours and hopefully make all sorts of similar connections! It does take a while to 'belong' in a place doesn't it. So glad for you that you got share the big day in a meaningful way Mara - that's what community is all about; be it local or global!!! YAM xx

    1. They told me it took ages for them to meet people as well. So, it's not just me!

  3. So glad you have some Dutch friends and neighbours, Mara, although I know you are learning more and more Norwegian every day, it must be nice to speak your own language occasionally, and reminisce about familiar places. Also very nice to be able to socialize.
    Luv, K

  4. Yes, sometimes the world is very small ! You should organize a street party ! We do this here with all the neighbors.

  5. That was a cool encounter with the person who lives on your road! So glad you had such a nice evening.

  6. I'm glad that you made some new friends, and friends from back home to boot!


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!