Last month I wrote about how my daughter met her future husband online. I mentioned in that post that there are differences in how Europeans live vs. Americans. There are also many misconceptions. Basically we are all just people, parents, raising our kids the best we can, going to work, caring for our home.
On the Saturday preceding the wedding, the Dutch people arrived at BWI airport which is 20 minutes from my house. Jen and Edo left the house to go and meet them. Arriving for a 2 week stay at my home were Edo's mom Coby, his sister Kim, his uncle Ilja and a friend of the family Garret. Everyone could speak English quite well except Garret. He had about 5 words of English. No, we had never met any of them and yes, they were all staying at our house for 2 weeks.
About an hour after leaving for the airport, Jen and Edo flew in the front door panic stricken. Jen was in tears, "Mom, I lost the Dutch people". "You..wha...how?" "They were picking up their rental car and we got separated and we couldn't find them. What do we do now?" I told them to skidaddle back to the rental car area and search the place. Obviously they had to be there, right? Wrong.
Shortly thereafter the phone rang, it was Coby calling from a gas station about 5 miles away from our house! We went to fetch them and called the lame search party back home. So we had our big meet and greet in the parking lot of a Texaco station. Hugs and laughter all around. Coby said she just felt like she should drive in this direction and she did. Pasadena, Maryland, America and she damn near tripped over the house! Astounding.
We made coffee and began talking, laughing and becoming friends. It wasn't hard at all, these people were simply an extension of our family immediately.
This was mid March of 2003. That month, the weather was perfect, it was sunny and unseasonably warm. We spent a lot of time on the deck. My husband and I had to work during that first week of their stay and so we missed out on the sightseeing trips to DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, sigh.
All of the Dutch people smoke, as I do and when the weather is cool or rainy, the smoking happens in the garage. On Monday morning I got ready for work, running a little late, and grabbed my coffee and went flying out into the garage to get in my car. I was greeted by 3 of the dutch folks having a morning cigarette (they roll their own) and Garret was standing there in his under drawers! Teeny briefs! In my garage! I just met this person! There were good mornings all around as I tried to decide where to look. I jumped in my car and burned rubber. Obviously I was the only one feeling any discomfort.
Right at this time, my next door neighbors were having a paver patio put in. The weather was great so the landscapers were making hay. There was a crew of probably 4 guys working over there. Since the weather was so warm and sunny, young, blonde, sister Kim decided to take advantage and do a little sunbathing. In her bra and panties. Like a bathing suit, right? Garret too, was out there in the underoos enjoying the warmth. The crew next door must have had difficulties because there weren't a lot of pavers laid that week.
Trust me here, it's a little disconcerting to walk out onto your back deck and try and converse with a near stranger who is all but nude. Who also speaks virtually no English! I kept waiting for the police to show up at my door and arrest somebody! Hmmm, maybe that's why the neighbors won't let their kids play with Buggy girl? Nahhh.
Anyway, we all became friends, the wedding was fabulous and we had great fun for every minute of that 2 weeks. A year later we went to Amsterdam to visit their family and that, folks, is a story for another day.