This is one of the topics that we discussed in Dutch class today. Hoelang woon jij al in België? (How long have you been in Belgium?). We were put in pair to start practicing with each other and I was paired with this Portuguese guy.
“Hoelang woon jij al in België?” I asked.
“Ik woon al 8 jaar in België (I’ve lived for 8 years here in Belgium),” answered him.
Then the conversation stopped there because of my surprise.
“Eight years?” Confirmed me in an awe.
“Why did you decide to learn Dutch now then?”
“Well the story is rather complicated. I used to live with a Belgian woman. Then we separated lately. I only have the weekend to spend with my kids. I can only speak a little Dutch. With the current situation that I only have so little time with my kids, I don’t want the situation to be more restricted because I couldn’t talk to my kids. I have to start now, or otherwise, I couldn’t talk to them anymore.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that story.
“You know what? You are a great father…”
I started this project at the beginning of this year that I want to stop knowing people only based on facts and figures. Only in short period of time, I have fulfilled myself with amazing stories from the people around me. And this is one of those. An overwhelming story that keeps playing in my mind along my tram ride back home and successfully makes me open my laptop right away to write about it even though my stomach is growling at the moment 😀
Have a good night, Antwerpen ❤