HI!

Today is a very special day.
It’s Dutch-American Friendship Day!
So…how are you celebrating?
Do you have both flags hanging outside your home?
Are you wearing red, white, blue, AND orange?
(It’s ok, I didn’t know about it either until just recently.)

I’m celebrating this holiday by sharing today’s article from de Telegraaf, where I talk about my 30 years of being friends with the Netherlands.

Thank you, Netherlands, for not laughing at me when I went to the bakery for the first time alone and with a shaking voice, asked for circumcised bread (I meant ‘sliced’).

Thank you, Netherlands, for helping me when I asked for the ‘washing up breasts’ instead of ‘brushes’ in the supermarket.

Thank you, Netherlands, for giving me the opportunity to grow, to put down new roots, to take risks bigtime.

I jumped, and you caught me.

Thank you.

Thank you, Netherlands, for sharing some of your views of me with me directly, both in my face, and in my inbox:

‘You’ll never fit in if you stay so spontaneous.’
‘Your optimism is totally fake.’
‘You are a role model and an inspiration to so many.’
‘You’re ok, you’re a GOOD kind of foreigner.’
‘I think of my life as Before Buffi and After Buffi.’
‘My German friends speak better Dutch than you and they just got here!’
‘You’re such a workaholic. Try to enjoy life more!’
‘I wish I had your ambition!’
‘I became an English teacher because of you!’
‘You are destroying the Dutch music industry because you are forcing everyone to sing in English! How dare you!’
‘I love your style!’
‘I hate your style.’
‘My cat is named Buffi!’
‘What a ridiculous name.’

And so on, and so on.
Hey, Dutchies?
Thank you for being so honest with me.
For being my friend, even when we disagree. I am still mad about a lot of things you do.
You’re not perfect, and neither am I.
But thank you for laughing at my lame jokes, and for showing me new ways to be innovative, modest, creative, and kind.

For giving me a home.
In so many ways.

Happy Dutch-American Friendship Day!

Love,
Your friend,
Buffi