Tag Archives: Love

Bucketlist #54. See a dinosaur ✔

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25 August 2012

Some people know this about me, most people I haven’t dared to tell this yet. I’m talking about my fascination for dinosaurs. Most children go through the dinosaur fase, I’m still at the peak. I don’t want to be a paleontologist,  dusting off sand for hours and putting miniscule pieces of bone together is not my cup of tea. It’s pure fascination; these giant creatures used to populate the earth. Incredibly bizarre.  When I had to babysit a five year old boy in September last year I couldn’t be more thrilled. Books and movies about dinosaurs everywhere. Together we spent days watching movies and documentaries and reading all the books about the subject.
I think the it all started when I visited a park in France when I was a little girl. In the park there were many dinosaurs made lifelike, including sounds and movement. I remember full well how that massive T-Rex roared at me, and in my eyes he was real. When I close my eyes I can still picture how it moved and sounded, just like all the other dinosaurs at that very park. Other than that experience I also had sleepless nights after watching ‘The land before time’, where a baby dinosaur wants to find his parents accompanied by his friends. Ofcourse T-Rex tries to eat time many times. Terrifying. Still I’m curious, just like I am when I watch horrormovies. I watch them, even though I know they freak me out and I won’t be able to sleep in the dark for weeks.
When my mum told me she wanted to take me to New York I immediately knew where I wanted to go. Ofcourse I wanted to see the statue of Liberty, the 9/11 memorial and the Empire State Building. But the National History Museum would make a dream come true. Real dinosaurs. I’ve seen them! Call me childish but I don’t give a shit. They’re massive! How can you not be fascinated?!
 
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How facebook can change your life forever. True story!

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You know them, these programs where people reunite after not seen eachother for decades. Brothers and sisters meet for the first time after being seperated from birth and parents and children get to know eachother after adoption. These stories are always touching and rarely without tears. Two weeks ago I got dragged into a story like this, that changed two people’s life completely.

Four years ago I went on a holiday to Ireland. Even though me and my friend were there for only a week, I fell in love with an Irish guy and so I kept returning to Ireland many times over the years. Here I met Tom, one of the closest friends of my boyfriend’s dad. I’ve met Tom a couple of times when visiting him at his house. Tom leads a very solitary life in his tiny cottage without electicity or bathroom. He still lives in the 60s, having the occasional smoke and listening to Bob Dylan records over and over again. He’s an interesting fella, who’s stories are as well interesting and funny as sometimes completely insane. A very kind man who you never get bored of talking to. During one of these nights at Tom’s, he told me about a woman he used to be in a relationship with. She was Dutch, just like me. They were together for two years when she left him, her being six months pregnant. After the birth of their daughter she sent him a card, saying the babygirl is his and a little birthcard with the baby’s name and birthdate on it, as well with an address. Tom wrote to her many times, but never got any reply. After a year he gave up, but still thinking of his daughter every single day. At the time he told me this story, it had been twenty years ago. He asked me if I might be able to find her, since I also live in Holland and she must be around my age. I told him I’d try.

Back in Holland I immediately tried to google her name. No results. Then I tried facebook and to my pleasant suprise five profiles popped up with the right first- and surname. Unfortunately all the profiles were blocked so I couldn’t see if the birthdate would match. Also the pictures were too small to see if she would be around twenty years old. I decided to send four girls as Robin is also a guy’s name and one of the profiles had a picture of a dark-haired guy in front of a ‘snowhite and the seven dwarfs’ wall  a message saying;

Evalina                                                                                                          25 June 2012
I have a bit of a unusual question; I’m urgently looking for a girl with your name: Robin …. , born on 11 January 1991. I can’t find a birthdate on your profile so the question is: are you the one I’m looking for? If you are, would you please contact me? Regards,  Evalina

For weeks I waited for the right Robin to reply to my message, but I never got any replies. Six months later I went to visit Tom again and he asked if I found his daughter. I told him I tried but I couldn’t find her.

A year and a half after I had send the message and had completely forgotten about it I opened my facebook and the red sign told me I had received a message. I opened the inbox and my heart skipped a beat. In my inbox was a message from Robin. A bit shaky I opened the message and it said:

Robin                                                                                                                  25 June 2012
Hey Evalina, I just read your message because it gotten into the wrong inbox. My name is Robin …. What’s up?
Regards, Robin

For minutes I’ve been staring at the message. Is it really her? Did I find her? She said it’s her right? Or does she just mean that’s her name? She wasn’t specific about the birthdate though. I kept reading her massage over and over again and decided to call my boyfriend. All hyper I told him that I might have found Robin. Now what’s the next plan? Now that I’d probably found her I all of a sudden realised I had to act on it. But what to do now? How do you tell someone you don’t know that her biological father is looking for her? How would she react? Does she even know about his excistence? What if she doesn’t and she already has a dad who she thinks is her real dad? I decided to e-mail my boyfriend’s dad.

Heya! How’s everything? To my big suprise I received an e-mail today over facebook from.. Robin! I’ve found her! No doubt its her; her name and birthdate match. Ofcourse she asked me whats up. Now I’m in need of your advice on what to tell her, because she might not know about Tom or the fact that maybe her dad is not her biological dad. How to go about it?

Ofcourse he was thrilled with this news and decided to tell Tom about it immediately. A few days later I received a letter from Tom, thanking me so much for finding her and advising me to make sure it’s her first. He gave me her mother’s name and asked me to ask her first if that name would also match. Then, if she’s aware that there’s an Irish connection to her life.

This sounded like a good plan to me, so I send her back the following message:

Evalina                                                                                             25 June 2012
Hey Robin, 
Wow, I really didn’t expect to ever hear from you and find the right person. Just to make sure: you were born on 11 January 1991? Is your mother’s name Eva? So sorry, it all sounds a bit strange, I’ll tell you what this is all about when I’m absolutely sure I got the right person. Evalina

My reply must’ve creeped her out a little bit because she responded:

Robin                                                                                                     25 June 2012
Hey Evalina, 
I was indeed born on 11 January 1991 and my mother’s name is Eva.. To be honest I find it rather strange to be approached this way by someone I don’t know but clearly knows a lot about me. So an explanation would be nice.. Robin

At this point me and my mum, who I had told the whole story, were rather nerveous about the whole thing. This was it, there was no way back, it had come to the point where I had to tell her about her dad. What would she say? I took a deep breath and e-mailed her back.

Evalina                                                                                             25 June 2012
He Robin, 
I can very well understand this is creeping you out, I’m sorry. I would probably feel the same way if I were in your shoes. I’m honestly telling you, I don’t know you either and I’m certainly not a stalker. I’ll tell you what the story is:
My name is Evalina, I’m from Amsterdam and have an Irish boyfriend who lives on the east coast of Ireland. Through him I’ve met someone who’s looking for you. Do you have any idea who this could be?

I thought this would be the best approach. If she knew, she would know who it is. If she didn’t.. I’d tell her to ask her mum. What happened next might be too private, but I’ll broadly tell you what happened.

She knew about it. She immedialy knew who I was talking about. Obviously she was shocked. I can’t blame her. I was bloody nervous and it had nothing to do with me. After her not responding for a while I finally got a message saying she was beyond happy to hear this news, she’d been looking for him a few years ago, but couldn’t find anything on the internet. So she had given up. She had thought she’d never know who her father was. When she was younger she had found a letter between her mother’s old mail. The letter was for her. It had the lyrics of a song, which she’d listened to all her life when she felt bad, knowing somewhere in the world was her dad, caring for her.

Now two months later, they’re sending letters back and forth, and getting to know eachother after 21 years. As far as I know, they’re getting on fantastically, and they might meet in the future. Tom is beyond happy and has a new meaning to his life. He now has a daughter.

As a thank you I received a pile of different kinds of chocolate!

PS All the names, dates and other details are changed in this story to keep the people involved anonymous

Why my grandparents are the best (pictures to prove it :P)

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I have a special bond with my grandparents. Unlike some people, I never hated to go visit them. They’re both in their 80’s although my granddad tells people he’s 46, you’re as young as you feel and unfortunately not as fit as they used to be.

My granddad is a strong man. During WOII he was forced to join the army and has fought in Indonesia for years, while my grandmother waited for him at home, not hearing from him for months. After he got back they got married, and a few years later they had my uncle. My mum came a few years later, my granddad delivered her himself, because the doctor forgot his book and had to go home to look up what he had to do. When he came back my mum was already born and the doctor asked my granddad: ‘So, how did you do it?’. My granddad always worked hard in a paperfactory, while my grandma stayed at home with the children. My granddad is a man with a great sense of humor, always joking around and fooling all of us when he’s pretending to have a sore back and laughing hard when we’re concerned. On the other hand he’s a very stubborn old man, who has his own specific opinion and it’s very hard to make him think otherwise. My grandma is caring, she wants to please everyone and is always interested. She can worry a bit too much sometimes, so we tend to keep the bad news to ourselves. Come to think of it, I’m a mix of both my grandparents, maybe that’s why they mean so much to me.

Unfortunately they’re getting older, my granddad has laughed at men and woman strolling by with their walkers or in wheelchairs, but now he can’t deny he needs one himself. Still he prefers to sit down on his walker and rolling backwards into the elevator, because it’s just more fun that way. My grandma has had Altzheimer disease for a couple of years and recently my granddad is also diagnosed with a form of Altzheimer. My grandma is very forgetfull and her short term memory has almost gone completely. Still, she always remembers what I’m up to, which is pretty special. Altzheimer disease has been hard on my grandma, who does notice she has the memory of a fish; she almost forgets the moment something happened. Altzheimer can sometimes lead to hillarious situations, though. Everytime I visit them, I find something different in the cookie cabinet. While my grandmother is looking for cookies, I try to take out pairs of shoes, a half-full pack of juice and a paperplate with what looks like a cold, deep fried snack, without her noticing it. Things are never in the right place, and I often find the remote controll in the magazine chest or the sugar in the tv cabinet.

Also they now go to ‘daycare’, because it’s now becoming too dangerous for them to be on their own. To give an example; my granddad walked all the way to their old house when they had just moved, to pick up his laptop because he thought he needed it. that he doesn’t know how to use is just a side issue He didn’t bother asking anyone for help, he just took off and tried to carry the heavy thing back to the new flat. Please notice that my granddad already has trouble walking without the walker, let alone walking all the way there without it, carrying a heavy laptop. That it didn’t go smoothly goes without saying; on the way back he fell down in front of the elevator and broke his ringfinger.  Now they live in a nursinghome there’s a few people looking after them, which is quite nessesary because, stubborn as my granddad is, he tried to cut off the cast with a sharp knife because he thought it was uncomfortable.

My grandparents are not religious, but live in a religious nursinghome, so to their suprise the first week they found themselves attending a service and to make matter worse for them, they were seated in the front. They decided to just keep listening, but at the end of the service everyone around them started singing. My grandma was half asleep, but my granddad was fairly awake and didn’t want to stand out of the crowd, and have a little bit of fun of his own so he started miming the hymns. Apperently he got really into it, because afterwards the nurse came up to him to compliment him on knowing the words so well and his excellent singing. He tells me this story every week, while laughing hard at his own prank.

My grandparents are the sweestest, kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met, and to give you a bit of an idea why, I took some pictures with my IPad.

Always cherish the people around you, think of what you have before it’s gone. 

Bucketlist #3. Visit a festival. ✔

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I love festivals. I love the vibe and the people. All sorts of people enjoying the music and freedom. Chilling in the gras listening to bands with a beer in one hand and the feeling of the sun shining on my face. And dancing all night while meeting random people  from all over. Crazy stories, crazy nights. This weekend my two friends and I went to the Midsummer Festifarm in the north of Holland. This first edition of the festival took place on a farm and the atmosphere was hippie-ish; leave no trail, respect nature as well as eachother and chill out. Friday night was special, since it was Midsummer we celebrated the longest night of the year by rocking with bands and chilling by the bonfire.
The weather forecast for the weekend was not to be cheering about; rain, more rain and storms. Luckily the weather on Saturday was really good, good enough for a swim in the lake anyway.The bands were great and the people nice, lots of love! When can I go again?? 😀

Our tent in the not-yet-so-messy stage

After swimming in the lake. No pictures!!

One of the stages

Cccooldd!

Love!!

Art project during night

More love!

Festifarm!

Dirty wellies!

Eternal Love in Paris

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Have you ever been to Paris? Then you must have visited the now famous Archeveche bridge. It became the bridge for lovers. Couple all around the world come to the bridge that crosses the Seine river to hang (engraved) padlocks on the side and throw the key into the river as a sign of their eternal love.

Paris is the city of love, so the perfect place for a romantic gesture like this. You have a nice walk in the Paris’ sun before looking into eachothers eyes, whispering sweet things in eachothers ears before locking the padlock to the bridge and dropping the key into the Seine river to remain for eternity.

Other places (perhaps closer to home) are :the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne (Germany), Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island and the Humber Bridge in Toronto (Canada), the Ponte Vecchio bridge (Italy), Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin (Ireland). Unfortunately in most places the government started to remove padlocks because they damage the bridges. These places to far from home? Start your own by putting the first padlock on a bridge in your own town. 🙂

I’m not that romantic at all, but this makes me melt away. I love it, what a great, romantic idea! I think Paris would be the most romantic place to hang your padlock. This goes on my bucketlist, someday I’ll go there and hang my own. Beautiful.