Jan 062012
 

That first, sweet, sweet taste of home! Good bread, butter and real (it’s Real I tell you!) Dutch Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles)! Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water…

The day before yesterday my friend Laura arrived from the Netherlands to Lima. Obviously I went and picked her up from the airport (if only to save her from being attacked by all the taxi-drivers that would take her to the middle of nowhere for an outrageous price). We had a great dinner at Mila’s place, before Laura crashed and burned (which is understandable after being awake for over 24 hours!). But, most importantly, she brought gifts! Dutch cheese! Dutch “drop” (for those who don’t know it, it’s a vile black liquorice that only the Dutch seem to be able to enjoy)! And most important, Real Dutch Hagelslag!!! A perfect melange of dark and white chocolate sprinkles, aged to perfection for that bitter-sweetness that will bring out the best flavor in any piece of bread. My breakfast this morning was pure bliss!

Now if only Mila hadn’t also developed a liking for it…

A good job that pays a nice income, with a promotion once and a while. A loving husband / wife / girlfriend / boyfriend who doesn’t forget to take the trash out and who is a good cook. A big house to call your own in a nice village not too far away from the city (with a cool car on the porch). A plasma TV that is slightly bigger than the neighbors’. Perhaps even some kids running ’round…

For most people this would sound pretty ideal, wouldn’t it?

There are however always the exceptions…

Traveling, not having to work, stress or even think a lot. This gives a lot of time for ideas, images and feelings to surface, ripen, change. A lot of surfacing, ripening and changing has been going on in my head and my heart lately…

Knowing today what tomorrow will bring. Looking back and seeing that today was similar to yesterday. And to the day before that. Security, certainty, comfort. Looking forward to the weekend, the next vacation. Nothing bad happening. Being content. What more could one ask for?

In a previous post I already wrote that I am cursed with always wanting to know with what’s around the next corner. I like change, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. Adventure (and I’m fully aware that adventures are great when looking back, but at the moment they occur they are at best uncomfortable and at worst life-threatening (if they become more than just threatening they stop being an adventure and become just a stupid mistake…)). This is what makes me happy!

But if that’s what makes me happy, why would it be a curse? Just because it doesn’t conform to what they expect from me (who is this they anyway? I can’t really recall having met them (though I do vaguely seem to recall a pair of dark sunglasses, a black suit and then a white flash…))? And if all of this means that I get hurt once and a while, I’ll take that as well (if you are not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything, as you already seem to be able to do it…)!

Yesterday Laura and me went for a walk through Lima, so to lighten up this otherwise serious post, here is a picture of a pimped street sign:
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Perhaps I should count myself blessed, that I actually do know what makes me happy (I’m sure that a lot of people don’t. For those who believe that happiness lies in a bigger plasma TV, what did they do before plasma TVs were invented?!?), even if it took me (only?) thirty years of my life to really figure this out. So, I’ll try to arrange my life in such a way that I get surprised regularly. That I encounter enough corners behind which I don’t know what might lurk. That I can experience a sense of perpetual wonder.

I don’t need it all. I’m willing to forgo being content, if that means I’m happy.

Do you know what makes you happy?