‘I was born in the south of the country, to parents who are not from there. My father Laura and Julia were directors of coal mines, and I was the third of six boys. At church, the front row was reserved for our family. We went to church six times a week. It had to be, it was placed in school. My mother was very Catholic. He died at the age of 64. The night after the funeral, my father said, OK, now we will not go to church again. He was never again.
“We do not mix with the miners. At school I was in a group of Dutchmen, children of engineers and officers. The pool was open to us on Sunday morning, and then there were ten of us. The children of the miners swam in the afternoon, and then there were two hundred in the bath. We were not beaten at school with ready signs, we went to secondary – they went to underground vocational school. I never felt superior. The fact that my father had a good job is his debt, not mine.
“After high school, my brothers and I left Limburg one after the other. There is no question that we are staying. “We’re not limber,” my parents always said. In club life, on the boards, although they were very active, they were never accepted. People see you ‘from above the rivers’.
Am I went to the Community Academy in Amsterdam during the student uprisings. The majority of students decided that my main subject staff was not at the work community academy. So the training was stopped. I was able to continue with the other twelve in another part of town. I did not take part in the riots. I wanted to see that happen, but I would never throw a rock at the police. I had long hair and friends. When people say ‘you have to’, I don’t do it.
‘I don’t know what I want to do after my studies. A childhood friend from Herlan, everyone called him Boy: ‘Come see me’. He met the man of his life on a beach in Portugal and moved with him to New York. I bought a one way ticket and moved in with him. From New York I traveled through the United States. Texas, LA, San Francisco. Then Mexico, Guatemala, Belize.
“It’s a good time. I was young, had no bonds, no money. My father did not give me even a cent. He thought I should be looking for a job. In Houston, I slept for $ 12 a night at a hotel with cockroaches. I was standing on the road between Mexican and African Americans, so you can take me to work.Rolling oil drums, jobs with asbestos, removal.They always chose me, I was young, strong and white – again I became privileged.
“Two years later I was deported from the United States. While working on a garbage truck in Harlem, a police patrol asked about me Green card. I was handcuffed and on a flight to the Netherlands after spending two nights in prison. “Are you going to act normal now?” Said my father. I went to live in a squat with one of my brothers and started my career as an employee manager and later as an independent interim manager. Admin seeker.
‘I was young, strong and white – again I got the privilege’
‘Since I quit that job, I have been traveling around the US for about three months a year, now in a rental car. Not popular destinations, Midwest, Kentucky, North and South Carolina. I talk to a lot of people. What do they do and how do they live? How is it possible for them to be happy for the rest of their lives in a village I want to leave soon?
The boy has always lived in the United States. She married a man and became rich as an Art Deco dealer. Last year he died of lung cancer and HIV, I went there to take care of him. We came from the same street in Herlan and told each other everything. We loved each other. I met him with my wife for my honeymoon and she wanted to see him too. I have been married for 29 years. My wife died of lung cancer at the age of 56. I have three children and four grandchildren.
“Because I like it, I try to help people find a partner. It was my wife’s idea when interim work abruptly stopped during the 2008 crisis. As an administrative search I was looking for people for companies, and my wife said: Dating is one such thing. She was not well then. I built a website, but left it to take care of her.
“I actually started two years ago. It runs like a train. I met my own girlfriend with friends about a year ago. He is a visual artist and lives in Koz. “
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