I arrived in the Netherlands a few days ago, and it’s been cold (50′s) every day so far. I realize now that I was thinking more of Serbia when I packed since I brought only one sweater and one light jacket. The rest are light summer dresses.My aunt Ans and I, in winter coats, I borrowed hers.
My aunt and uncle have been taking good care of me, and after all the recent work on renovating our house in Michigan it feels luxurious to have someone wait on me. I feel like a princess. They make me coffee in the mornings, cook for me, do my laundry. In the evenings, we look at pictures and talk about old times – always in three languages – Serbian, Dutch and English.
My oldest son Mike has been interning with a judge at the International Criminal Court at The Hague for the past six moths, and I got to spend a couple of days with him and his girlfriend, Fabiana. We explored Utrecht and Amsterdam together and had a lovely dinner at a Peruvian restaurant in Amsterdam. Then Mike flew back to the US to prepare for his Bar exam.From left: I, my uncle Joep, Mike’s friends Jeremy and Mandy, Fabiana and Mike
On Monday, my uncle, aunt and I went to Arnham to spend a day with their daughter Bettinka and her family. She has five children: Sophie, Vera, Tom, Margot and Milou, the oldest fourteen and the youngest six. We picked the children up from school, gave them snacks, and took a long walk in the park around their house. We ate dinner, and spent time with the children. Vera is planning an exciting party for her twelfth birthday. Sophie, the eldest child, told me about her school classes: she has eleven classes and is studying five languages.Ans, Vera, Milou and Bettinka
Yesterday, Sam and Nikki arrived from Spain – tired, hungry and in great need of showers and clean laundry. They hadn’t slept or eaten anything but crackers for almost nineteen hours. After they cleaned up, we went to our cousin Nick’s restaurant in The Hague.Nick’s restaurant: Nikki, Sam, Joep, Laura and Nick
Nick has a beautiful French restaurant called The Archipel, in the center of The Hague. He serves the most flavorful, organic ingredients, fine wines and most delicious olive oil I have ever tasted. To us, his family, he served an appetizer of smoked hams, then a salad of salmon and tiny Dutch shrimp, and melted cheese sandwiches. We sat in a sunny outdoor garden full of flowers ate and drank Dutch beer or fine Chardonnay from the south of France. We talked about Serbia and our family.Sam, I and Nikki enjoying the afternoon in the restaurant garden
I could have stayed there forever.Weary travelers