‘A holiday love must above all stay where it is’

On the tender age of fourteen, you are confronted daily with nature, but not as my parents wanted. Here it was in the local swimming pool (unheated of course – ‘nice and fresh guys!’) which was mainly frequented by the Greek diaspora there. The Costas, Nicos and Aris flew around our heads and swarmed around us. All between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Very interesting! Conversely, two blond Dutch sisters were a treat in the unexciting mountain and valley.

Nature put our hormones into sixth gear and my sister and I fell in love instantly. My subject of adoration was a Greek Adonis with black curls. Demetrius, but everyone called him Demi. He was already eighteen and at least as in love as I am. He predicted that we would get married in four years. He would teach me to drink ouzo and we would have a whole string of Greek children. I was already dancing the sirtaki in my head.

For starters, he taught me how to French kiss. A revelation. And he fiddled with my Aa cup. Everything above the summer blouse, green as I was. He whispered in my ear how beautiful I was, that I should never cut my long blond hair and that he wanted to count my freckles. It was two fantastic weeks of passionate courtship.

As with any holiday romance, the inevitable hour of goodbyes comes. I begged my parents to let me stay another week, but they were relentless. No way. No, not even with my sister.

I was furious. Mental abuse that I was so cruelly separated from my Great Love. Our family traveled by train and I cried all the way back. My father ducked into our compartment for his newspaper and my mother tried to comfort me with a sandwich and a glass of aerated from a bottle with a swing-top. ‘No!’ I didn’t want anything from her. My heart lay in a thousand shards on the ground. I would never love anyone again. Never!

When I got home I locked myself in my room. There was no mobile phone, no app and no social media at the time. Your roll of film had to be developed in the shop and with a bit of luck you could pick up your printed prints after five days. Furthermore, you were dependent on the mail that was delivered every day, except on Sundays.

After a few days there was a big letter from Demi. That I was the one and that he would send a surprise soon. Oh, it must have been a ring!

The surprise came two days later. Around lunchtime a taxi pulled up outside. My mother and I looked curiously to see who got out. demi! He had taken the morning train to Amsterdam to see me. But as if someone poked through a bubble with a knitting needle, my crush vanished in one fell swoop. pat! Horrible!

My mother gave him the spare room and again was implacable: I had to be neat and hospitable. Such a boy who had made quite a journey for me. I had to if necessary, so please.

Finally, I did all the touristy things you can think of. From a photo in Volendammer costume to the pigeons on Dam Square. Evenings were strictly supervised by my parents. After seven long days, I finally waved him goodbye. “Don’t you want to?” he asked from the train window. “Nein später,” I joked.

Once at home I wrote him a ‘Dear John’ (or rather a ‘Lieber Johan) letter and tjuus!

A holiday lover should above all stay where it is. A glass of bubbles in La Mamounia is very different from bitterballen in Amsterdam’s Javastraat. So I close the app again. Nice idea, but no thanks. What is regularly sitting on my couch in the Netherlands is love enough. Without a holiday.

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