Tabula Rasa

As a child, I always invited change. I loved in elementary school the days where the teacher would have us rearrange our desks. Sometimes it was a different row, sometimes a different group, but one thing remained constant: I loved the feeling of starting fresh.

Don't be scared.

I still harbor these feelings. Perhaps it is this love of beginnings that keeps my list of hobbies growing. Perhaps it is also this love of beginnings that has me jumping from song to song only after the first 30 seconds, has me on my fourth attempt at getting through A Confederacy of Dunces and has me asleep, frustrated and/or confused after the first 25 minutes of The Life Aquatic. For those of you shaking your head, I know. I knooooooooooow. And for those of you who are thinking “that’s me!”, I know, right?

My wife and I are moving to The Hague in two weeks. We got here to Las Palmas just over a year ago. So, if you’re counting, that’s two international moves in two years and will be nine addresses in seven years. For my generation that is about par. Outwardly, I complain about packing and moving and what to keep and what to sell/gift/leave/swap/recycle/donate/dump. On the inside however, I am excited. My inner child, thinking about finally sitting next to my friend in class or next to the door to be the first out for recess, is giddy with anticipation.

Luuk aat all the bijkes!

Thus, I have kept my feverishness cool by reading about The Hague and The Netherlands. Don’t worry, I won’t get into details about how the Dutch have the oldest standing army and how The Hague has an expat population of 48%. What I have learned is that Dutch might be a bit hard to master and apparently there is some great Indonesian food to be had there. Can’t wait for absurdly long words with the famous Dutch throat-clearing Ggggeeehhhhhgggeeehhhhh and some killer gado-gado.

Overall, the best part of this move is the fact that this will be a fresh start for the two of us. When we met we were in Monterey, California: aka my turf. Now, for a little over a year we’ve been here in Spain: aka her turf. The Hague promises to be neutral, but more importantly, fertile ground for us to explore together. This change in scenery marks the beginning of something entirely new: our first home together in a place where neither of us speaks the language, knows the culture nor has any friends. In short, we will be the weird, loner, foreign couple that always brings fresh faux pas to the parties we weren’t invited to. Can’t wait.

Anybody have any entry shock stories they’d like to share? I’ll be sharing mine in a few weeks 🙂

[the dk]


  1. Mamen

    I’m really excited for you guys – and Dustin, I love the way you explain this new step in your lives. Best of luck for you both, although you don’t really need it 🙂 Hope te see you soon, either in The Hague or in Barcelona, where you know you are always welcome 🙂

  2. Cris

    Hey guys! Just wanted you to know that your Las Palmas turf will miss you.
    Best of lucks! Although I agree with Mamen, it won’t be necessary.
    Luv u 😀

  3. There’s nothing exciting about Holland, that’s why I came here! Haha, just kidding. Have fun and remember the passwords: frikandel speciaal, fiets, bamibal, haring, satésaus, kaas, hagelslag, stroopwafel, gratis, tulp, klomp, bier, haargel!

    And oh, Dustin, some great writing here. Are you wasting your talents on other people’s words? 😉

    • Thanks for the kind words, André! I will keep this list of key words in my pocket until I have mastered them. Thanks for the compliment on the writing, let’s just say even when they are not my words, I give it my best to sound natural and readable. 🙂


  4. Pingback: Boxed out | roughly translated

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