Why is it that I can’t anymore, roam? Indian cow-like – slowly, on the streets of Amsterdam, gently chewing my spiritual cud if not green grass? When people here ask me about heimwee – homesickness, it’s hard to explain how exactly certain states of mind go with certain places and people. R-O-A-M. The way the Dutch say room – cream, malai – with a delicious, sinful feel to it. Is there sin involved in room /roam?
In Holland, I never roam and I almost always ‘pak mijn agenda’. One day, feeling very homesick, I turn to a person close to my heart; born on Dutch soil and with whom I share my daily bed. The children are at his sister’s so I take the chance and with a flick of my head say ‘coming’ – ga je mee’.
‘Where’? he asks.
‘Roaming’, I say.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
How does he ask, ‘where’? It’s irrelevant where. Even worse would be to ask waarom – why. And worst would be to ask, hoe laat – what time?
The Roaming Way(Full text)