In June 2010 I arrived in The Netherlands with the notion of finally ‘settling down’. Young, in love and still just a little wet behind the ears, my girl and I had all the typical rat race dreams: Get the jobs so we could save money. Save money so we could get the house. Get the house so we could have kids. Have kids so we could be a happy family, a regular functioning cog in this big old machine we call society. What could possibly go wrong?
“He’s not shaking hands with anyone!” announced the chubby Asian guy from CNN. “They say he’s got a cold but who knows, maybe he’s just in one of his moods”. A general murmur of disapproval rippled around the room as this revelation sunk in. A cocked eyebrow from the mousy little BBC woman, a folded-arms-huff from the bespectacled, grey-haired man from some Nordic TV station I couldn’t pronounce.