like a sponge: We are missionaries of gezelligheid

like a sponge: We are missionaries of gezelligheid

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Marianne is an entrant in the 2012 “i am not a tourist” Expat Fair Blog Competition.

The idea of time being cyclical is beginning to make more sense to me. It’s nice to see things coming back again but to experience them slightly differently each year. To experience them each year with an added layer of the experience of the previous year.

This is good when it comes to nice things like tadpoles, lambs and elderflowers.

However, this cyclical view of time also means that before you know it the bad things are on you again.

Like purple rhododendrons.

Or even worse: the avondvierdaagse when it feels like only yesterday that I was grouching about it and going to husband ‘maar waarom doen jullie dat?’

Then I have a sudden flash of enlightenment and I understand the avondvierdaagse better than I did last year: I just need to see it in terms of gezelligheid.

I hadn’t understood it in these terms because my approach to going for walks is different. My approach is ‘let’s go to the woods to get away from everyone’ whereas here it’s ‘let’s all go to the woods together for some gezelligheid‘. It’s finding a different location to be gezellig; it’s crowd-seeking; it’s all going out for a walk together because you might seem weird if you went on your own; it’s bringing gezelligheid to all corners of the land.

We are missionaries of gezelligheid. There will be no ungezelligd territory. On Dutch maps of yore it doesn’t say ‘here be dragons’ for unchartered territory: it says ‘here be ongezelligheid’.

Yesterday morning daughter woke up coughing and I hoped it would get us out of having to walk in the evening. Daughter made a miraculous recovery though when she remembered that you take sweets with you.

I do have to make a confession here though. I enjoyed it this year. It didn’t seem as far as previous years. It didn’t rain, although I’m sure it will the rest of the week, and I had some nice chats with other parents. I might even venture as far as saying it was gezellig.

Marco Borsato was playing when we got back to the start. Maybe in years to come I will even come to understand the attraction of Marco Borsato.


Photo credit: JamesDeMers (purple rhododendron)

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