Yes, everyone is reading that book here too. There is a copy of it lying around in the house that I am house sitting. However, I care about my image so I am careful to take a Jodi Picoult to the beach instead.
In case you are wondering where I am and why I am house sitting, the short version is: quit my job, packed my stuff, moved to Curaçao. Is this a little case of ‘whoops I did it again’ or the best thing I ever did? I guess time will tell. I wanted something different, and although I used to live here when I was a child, everything is still very different from my life in Amsterdam.
Instead of a job and a monthly pay check, I now have nothing. Or as you can also put it, every chance to make a new start and finally find work that I might actually like. Instead of wearing heels and dresses and tights and scarfs, I am now walking around half naked most of time, because it’s simply too hot and because, until I have work, I can. Instead of smelling like Body Shop lotion and Gucci perfume, my signature scent is now a spray called Off!, combined with sunscreen.
Instead of annoying swarms of pigeons and the bunnies outside Arup, I now take care of two dogs, remove ticks from their ears, kill cockroaches (or let them run away), and try to save lizzards from the empty pool. Lizzards that do NOT like being saved by the way. But I’ve discovered that if you leave them, they die within two days. Strange, you’d think they’d be better equipped to deal with the sun and lack of water. I swerve for little goats, park next to huge dead iguanas (it wasn’t me), and spot and hear cool birds everywhere. Not to mention the underwater world.
Instead of biking and walking, everything except collecting the mail is done by car. I thought I noticed the speed limit being 60km/h, but everyone seems to drive either way above or way below it, so I just adapt, too. I think I have taken more drives in this past week than the past year in the Netherlands.
Instead of being close to my friends, I now have to make new ones. Luckily everyone is extremely nice and helpful, and one other ‘new girl’ got very excited and asked me straight out if I wanted to be her friend and come to her birthday party. She is 29. And I said yes, and felt very happy. Instead of everything being anonymous, I went to yoga and ran into the girl that lived across the road from me when we lived here in the late 80s. And when going from meeting to meeting with all sorts of people, it turns out that everyone knows each other (and is more than happy to refer you to the next person that might be able to help).
Instead of city streets, I see the dazzling Caribbean sea every day. Instead of things going quickly and efficiently, everyting here is much slower, but there still seems to be way more time.
And at the end of the day, when the sun goes down and casts its last light and makes everything shine and glow in the most beautiful colours you have ever seen, there are no words to describe how good it feels to witness that beauty, to be here and give myself the chance create something different, new, exciting. But then in the car home, having a sudden breakdown, out of nothing, over all the things I miss, most notably all the people I miss, I can’t help but curse my neverending urge for change, and wonder why I am doing all this.
Maybe it’s because I think it might make everything, not just my hair, just those two shades lighter and brighter…