Fish learned to speak English very well by the time he moved in with me but he wasn't content just living the life everyone else was. In a few short months we devoted ourselves to a gypsy-like lifestyle, living out of the back of the Jeep, eating Ramon noodles for almost every meal, and traveling every day. Suddenly everything is new and you have to learn the language as well, which as it turns out is no different in adulthood than it was in childhood.
Seventy Four days later I finished Chasing Marbles, a blog of our journey, and we had both seen all of the lower 48 states in all their glory. I tried to learn Dutch when I visited his family back in Holland but all I really managed to do was point at things like a toddler and make funny noises until someone told me what word I was looking for.
You'd think we'd hate each other after being in such confined quarters, a car, for 74 days but the truth is we didn't fight once and we both came home happy as could be. Meanwhile in the states Fish is super excited about anything and everything. I spent a week and a half there and all I managed to spot were two wild bunnies and a magpie.
It involved a monkey noise for the uu and the slight rolling of the R in the back of your mouth. A few months ago he started introducing himself as Rudy to people but I can't stop calling him Fish. In his first weeks here he plucked a snapping turtle from the pond to get a better look as everyone gasped in horror. I am delighted by these things and make sure we buy them every time we're in Canada now.
It bears mentioning the R thing is impossible to do unless you have a lot of spit and the uu? It seems like such blasphemy since he was never a Rudy to me. Had his hand slipped in any way he'd be fingerless right now. How can you not love a milk chocolate treat with a possible side of tiny plastic dinosaur?
Imagine if your boyfriend came in one day and suddenly announced you are to call him Bob now. Dutch children are often taught four different languages in school. Some might also speak Belgian Flemish if they live on the border. This continues as I am constantly telling him to stay away from something or another.... In Holland toy guns are illegal and have been for decades. (That means child egg.) These are hollow milk chocolate eggs that have toys inside them, often ones that come in many tiny pieces that you have to build yourself. One of the most surreal moments of my life was when I was visiting Fish's family during the Christmas season. Black Pete himself, a 17 year old boy, dressed in tar face, who was now pelting dog food at me as I sat on the couch.
I had been talking to "Fish" for years online and had even met up with him a few times over the years. Fish divorced and then a few months later he showed up on my doorstep.
Maybe I'd grown bored of my ho-hum existence, maybe I felt like I had finally found someone as insane as myself, or maybe it was just meant to happen but either way he was here to stay.
Just a few weeks later he sold his home, packed all his belongings, and made the 6 hour trip to my house. I know, the title of this blurb sounds like the bumper sticker for a bigot but that's not what I mean. To make matters worse I can't even tell people what he does for a living because it's so damned complicated that even I can't break it down into laymen's terms.
I am merely pointing out you have to be out of your mind to suddenly decide to move to a country many thousands of miles from the only home you've ever known, all by yourself, where you can barely speak the language. This just makes people Living in a country that you did not grow up in sometimes makes you a bit of a kid again.
At twenty-five years of age I had never had a boyfriend and wasn't really looking.
The dating game seemed like a great thing to play if your idea of fun was spiraling yourself into a self-loathing cycle of depression and testing just how deep your faith in humanity was.
Sadly this was not my definition of fun so I just watched the rest of you play it instead. Maybe I am looking for someone who can get off the couch every once in a while and knows how to do something besides blame everyone else for all his problems?
Of course there is always a string of rejections, that incident with the serial killer you met on that online dating site, and your inevitable long-term relationship with the worst rebound possible. but I am afraid the universe wasn't about to let that keep going. All the "good" ones are married, hiding something, or gay, right? I was still hanging around listening to a bunch of whining losers complain about how girls don't like "nice guys" whenever I rejected them. Besides not having a jail record doesn't really mean you're nice - it just means you didn't have the balls to rob that bank you always wanted to...." Then something weird happened.