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Published: October 11th 2019
Walking around Gaanderen in spring
The years, like the seasons, like the Intermezzo's go by. They come and go, ever and anon. And so I find myself writing my 19th Intermezzo blog, or in Latin numbers: Intermezzo XIX! Who would have thought all those years ago? My travels have changed over the years, mostly in length to be honest. I used to travel up to eight months a year, now it is more like five. If I am lucky! Sometimes it is less. My Intermezzo's on the other hand have remained remarkably consistent. There is always the urgent need for money when I return, the frenzied search for a trial, the sigh of relief when I find one, and the even bigger sigh of relief when I actually manage to participate in it without it being cancelled, and the ultimate sight of relief when the money comes on my account, followed by family get-togethers, perhaps a short trip to visit friends or family in Europe, another trial, and then the return to my travelling.
This year was no different, except perhaps that I returned home with less money, and so my search for a trial was more frantic than usual. But it had a happy
ending of course. I found my trial, I got my money, and I sighed my sighs of relief! Yay! Then I went to Switzerland to visit my sister. And after that to Germany to visit my... girlfriend, Jenni! Yes, you heard it right. I am once again in a relationship, and remember you heard it here first! So stay tuned for all the latest... Ah well, never mind, thought I was in some radio program for a while.
You could say we found each other on the internet first. Sort of. I actually had met Jenni six years ago on Sabah. In a hostel. We exchanged email addresses, she came on my mailing list and subscribed to my blog... and that was it. I didn't hear from her for a long time, and truth be told, I couldn't quite remember her, when she suddenly took up contact with me five years later. Well, I remembered meeting her in Sabah, but I couldn't for the life of me recall what she looked like, or our conversation, or basically anything else then that I had met a girl named Jenni in Sabah a long time ago...
Jenni had been following
Spring flowers around our house
my blog and reading my occasional mass mails all those years, and for reasons unknown, decided to reply to one of my mass mails. And when somebody answers my mails, I always reply back, since I think it is the right thing to do. After all, they have put in the effort to reply, so they deserve a retort at the very least. Anyhow, I replied and then she replied and suddenly we were replying each other on a regular basis, or in other words we became internet pen-pals. As time went by the contact became more intimate, until Jenni boldly made her intentions clear.
Now this is nothing new for me. I freely admit I am a coward when it comes to women, and it nearly always is the girls who make the first move, not me. Frustrated at waiting for me to do something, even when it is very clear that they like me. Lucky me!
So we decided to meet up. Our date would be in Amsterdam. Jenni had a stop-over of 8 hours or so, on her way to warmer climes. Unfortunately we were both too nervous to call that first date a success.
Taking care of one of the trees I cut down
But on the other hand it was enough for me to determine that I wanted to get to know her more, realising that 8 hours was not the right amount of time to get to know anybody. Plus I knew I liked many aspects of this woman. She liked to travel, was smart, kind, open-minded and well-read. Right up my alley! And on top of that, since she had followed me for all those years, she knew what she was getting herself into, and had made up her mind to go for it anyway.
She knows my need to travel and wander and be free, and accepts it. She knows she will only be able to see me every now and again, that she can't have a normal day-to-day relationship with me, and yet she is fine with it. Of course with the WhatsApps and Skypes of today it is also easier to keep in contact then in the past.
To get to know Jenni better I suggested visiting her in Germany after she returned from her travels. I outrageously suggested 10 days, and she agreed. And that my friends was how it all started. I discovered she
And this was the end result, now we have a wide view again
lived in the prettiest little town I had ever seen and that was enough for me! Just kidding. We talked and walked and I discovered more about her, and I liked what I discovered. We discussed the ins and outs of a possible relationship and the difficulties involved in ours. With me living in Holland and she in Germany, and me travelling half the year and she not.
Our conclusion, obviously, was that we would give it a shot. We would visit each other back and forth as much as we could, and we would travel together whenever it was possible, but also separately because for both of us our freedom is important. If Jenni wants to travel with her friends, she shouldn't feel like she needs to travel with me instead, and nor do I expect her to join me all the time.
Anyway enough about my love life. Back to other stories. Stories of springs that came full of blossoms, and summers that came full of record breaking temperatures. Of me cutting down some huge trees, and others cutting down the trees that I could not, or more accurately, would not cut down for fear of
damaging the house. Of more heat, but less drought-like conditions. Of the annual family reunion. Of trials. Of visits from Jenni to Holland. And of autumn winds and rain. The year has been long, but somehow this Intermezzo whizzed by as if it was competing in a Formula 1 racing event. I did a lot, though I can't really remember what I did, except that I was always busy.
Now it's time to return to Indonesia. I can't go back to Papua, there is unrest there and people are dying. It isn't a good place to be at the moment. I will go to Sumatra. There are fires there and smoke. I think the rainy season is starting soon though... We shall see!
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