Sock bombs relationships

So here’s what you think relationships looks like: Friends staring into each other’s eyes while telling stories from their latest holiday in some far away country. Photos of newly decorated homes radiating serenity and homeness and screenshots from the long-distance couple, who are declaring their endless love to each other 30000 miles apart.

Here’s what mine looks like: Photos of my cat. I may now call myself an official inhabitant of the man cave (a.k.a. I sleep in between guitars and well used gym bags with last month’s content) Screenshots usually consisting with many unanswered question marks and the occasional “Can you get me this from the store? ‘’

This morning I got woken up by frustrated grunts because 1. I gave him 20 cm less space in bed and now he had a crap night of sleep. 2. The cat purred. Though it is my day off I will be helpful and feed the cat to put an end to the despicable purring. Getting up I trip over sock bombs (rolled up  bombs *smell will hit when in contact* spread out in an unpredictable order over the floor) Trip over cat, feed cat, crawl back into bed and get welcomed back by more grunting and rolling himself up in the sheets “God, you’re always so loud!”. Sigh..#yaylife

Pink clouds evaporate and “No You hang up first” has made room for a lot of two blue ticks followed by “I’m busy”. Intimacy is an event that only occurs only when you are both not feeling tired (Next July) and scrolling through Netflix has replaced making an effort for date night. Like, how does everybody do it and get away with looking like they have it all under control? Half of the time I feel like I am failing something so logical to the rest of the world. I turn over to my bleeping phone, I open it up and one of my friends is going off at her boyfriend about this argument they had last night. For a second I can feel normal again.

It does always kind of come down to the battle of the sexes. Woman want all day (No exaggeration,. I mean All Day) attention if they could. Men want to be men and, that’s about it. We end up getting in each other’s way because men want to be left alone and do their thing. While most of us ladies want to feel special and romantic. Really, half of the little nitpick fights can be easily resolved by sending a few nice words every day. We will be thankful forever, and feel like you are the best thing to ever come across on this earth. No more nagging, we got what we need. End of world problems, I promise.

Ok I won’t pretend I’m perfect. I can translate 1 ignored text to 26 different scenarios in my head within 30 seconds. And even if you think you made an effort and pretended to clean up, I will sniff out that pair of dirty boxers in no time. Also, you won’t stop hearing about it for the next two weeks. Making an effort sinks down the list more and more. I pulled out that comfy pair of pj’s long time ago.

And while we’re trying to learn each other’s languages, half of it gets lost in translation and double blue ticks resulting in another night of silently lying back to back in bed. When all we want is to lay face to face, staring into each other’s eyes, like all the other couples claim to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vampire cat

When the morning is dark, the city still asleep, the monster is awake. He quietly sits at the end of the bed, silently staring at the two unaware humans. “Sleep for now…” he thinks out loud “..soon everything will be mine.”

An alarm goes off, I desperately try to reach for my phone. Hoping to turn off the sound in time before he awakes. As soon as my hand touches the bleeping device I realize I’m too late. I can feel four tiny paws making their way towards my face. The chainsaw loud purr moves closer to my face. I withdraw my arm quickly silencing my phone under the sheets and close my eyes. I lay as still as I can, but I have failed. A screech is followed by the deafening purr into my ear. He knows that I know what time it is.

The hunt for flesh begins. His nose digs under the sheets, he find my arm and screeches again with joy. He pushes his nose against the bare skin sniffing in the scent and places his paws to hold it in place. From each paw four razorsharp nails emerge digging deeper into the skin, kneeding one by one into my arm..forcing me to get up.

I get up, immediatly hundreds and hundreds of litter particles touch the soles of my feet. He has done it again. When we sleep he marks his territory. The tiny particles are infused with his smell and spread as far as he can. During the day they are kept in one place. A big box, especially for him, but it’s not enough anymore. Most evenings he walks in and out over and over, spreading the particles like wildfire around the house. One day,..the whole house will be taken over and will will stand no chance.

To keep him happy we feed him. Oh do we feed him. But every now and then his mood changes and food is no more than a measly peace offering. He retaliates and in a bloodrage he leaves decapitated frogs all over the house. It’s a significant warning…The worst thing is, we haven’t found out yet what for. all we can do is wait…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanlife Diaries

I wake up to Dan siting up in bed, holding the surfboard above his head with two hands and yelling at me. “Ains! Look outside! I can’t see where I’m going!” Here we go again I laugh to myself. Another one of Dan’s sleeping adventures. “Dan,..you’re ok..you’re safe..we’re in the car..” “Damnit just look outside would you!! I have to break!” his eyes are wide and worried. He’s kicking the back door, seriously stressed out. Then he let’s the surfboard go, rips open the curtains and looks around furiously. Then he calms down and starts to laugh “Fuck I’m doing it again aren’t I?”

We wake up with a council warning shoved under our windscreen wipers. Risking a $200 fine by sleeping in a non-self-contained van. Ok, time to find a new sleeping spot. I’m just happy they didn’t wake us up and asked us to move, we both needed the sleep after the vivid dreams Dan has. We read through it briefly, shrug and drive off to brush our teeth in a nearby bathroom.

Being homeless is starting to grow on me. In daytime it’s a small living-space we have learnt the hard way to utilize. I now have a toothbrush and deodorant in ever bag and Dan’s surfboard now functions as extra storage space above our heads. At night it’s our own little fluffy cubby hole, we could be anywhere in the world, wouldn’t matter, that bed is damn comfy.

Just the mornings can be a little challenging. We are travelling with not only 2 bags and a surfboard, but two more backpacks, a guitar and a wetsuit. It’s usually all piled up on the front seats at night. Most mornings we wade our way through it all and drive to the nearest public toilet to get ready for work. But on the weekends I leave Dan be and sit amongst all the stuff eating my cereal or doing my make up in the rearview mirror.

As we don’t always use the allocated spaces and out van is no way near self-contained, we have to be a bit more sneaky about it. I push my alarm to silent as fast as I can. Just in case someone outside would hear it. Roll from the bed onto the front chairs so I don’t have to attract noise by slamming doors. And when having breakfast and someone walks past, I pretend to be casually waiting on someone while I pause chewing.

I can’t even imagine living in a house anymore. And what’s wrong with washing myself in public toilets anyway? Right? 🙂

I’m walking down the beach swapping long audio messages with Charlotte who now resides in Sri Lanka for the moment. She’s explaining to me how to not wash your hair for a week and still smell pretty. I have to, as showers are now a luxury, thank the lord for dry shampoo. And when I run into Hector (one of the chef’s at my work who also lives in his van) we always keep each other up to date on new shower/sleep spots we’ve come across.

I feel like I’m more aware of real important things…and not telling myself all the time I need this or that in order to get through life or to be happy. I’m definitely enjoying my surroundings more. And wherever I go, my home comes with me. Turns out, adventure comes in confined spaces too.

Capturing infinite life.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been writing down my memories. Turning memories into words is a part of my soul, as they reflect back at me, reminding me why I’m alive. As detailed as possible, so that re-reading them takes me back to that moment in an instant.

This last week I’ve been introduced to a whole new way of capturing life on camera. I travelled to Cyprus for a short holiday get away and a long awaited reunion. But it ended up bringing me back in touch with my life’s purpose. When I say, a whole new way, I obviously know how to work a camera, but this was a different kind of level and was interesting to get a glimpse into the brains of people who feel the exact same way about filming and photography as I do about writing.

Every waking minute is spent on perfecting the frames in their mind. Getting that perfect shot that captures an entire moment and feeling in a few seconds. Because a photograph isn’t a photograph until you can see inside it and feel what it contains.

I’ve been back from my 3 year world trip a while now and have been (somehow) getting used to normal life, where the beauty passes you by and the extraordinary would have to hit you on the head to be noticed. I appreciate my days but new ones appear without me making any effort. If today was boring, I will try again tomorrow. But that’s not what I had promised myself years ago. If I had to explain what I did promise myself, I will have to refer to a scene in the movie called ‘The perks of being a wallflower’. At one point Sam (Emma Watson) is in the back of a big Ute, speeding like crazy and while driving into a tunnel, David Bowie’s “Heroes” is on so loud she doesn’t hear anything else. She closes her eyes, raises her arms and throws her head back and screams “I feel infinite!”

I forgot what it feels like to feel infinite. Something no human being really is, yet if we can stop time in our minds for one second, like a photograph, we are infinite.

I used to go through life trying everything I was scared of, as I know firsthand what hiding behind fears is like. Yet as soon as the subject cliff jumping was brought up in Cyprus, all that my mind said was NO! But hey, hashtag yolo right? Cyprus is beautiful. Vast clear turquoise water, rust coloured dirt roads and more flowers than the Dutch tulip fields. The cliffs were incredible. And jumping looks like the easiest thing ever .. until your mind tells you it’s not. When fear tells you “no”, you can’t do it. Your body responds, your legs turn to jelly and your breath verges on hyperventilation. That’s when I realized no-one is holding me back but me. This is when you need to stop thinking. There is no thinking required for jumping, but simply leaping into the open. Yes, one wrong movement and it could be over. Instead I was overcome with a feeling of freedom…Freedom and a lot of water in places I don’t want to talk about.

Sometimes you will have to jump off, climb over, dive into, feel or just stop thinking. I am happy those days reminded me of this.

I want my life to be one big event of those infinite captured moments all strung together.

 

Mandatory dating

On the day of your 29th birthday something amazing happens. You magically skip a year and become 30. Even though your birth certificate says you are 29, to the rest of the world you are now 30. And holy shit, fix that piece of shit life already!

It started the other day with my mum. I caught her mid-sentence “..because now that you are 30..” “Mum, I am 29.” “Yeah so,..you’re thirty.” “Mum …my birthday isn’t for another 6 months yet.” “Ahhgg it’s the same thing.”

So technically I can behave like a complete adolescent for another 6 months. Whenever I get weird stares or shock strangers I can just pull out my ID card and tell them to Relax,..I’m still 29.. But it is a big no no…

Then unfortunately just before I actually turned 29, I became single. And trust me,.before those heartbroken tears have left your chin there is a line of people waiting to jump you with “Soooo…..how’s your love life going?” I can’t figure out what’s worse. Answering that question with “Quiet thanks” or the worried faces people make when they hear me say that. Single at 25 equals freedom and involving a lot of “Good for you girl!” Single at 30 feels like a job interview from hell while someone is pointing a gun at your face.

Suddenly my eggs (What! I have that to worry about too?!) and ovaries are a normal conversation topic. To freeze or not to freeze. My friends take turns in finding random men, sticking a ribbon on their foreheads and dragging them to my doorstep, presenting them to me like: “What about THIS one?” . And what is up with that “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question. I mean ..WHAT!!?? Can you even imagine what your life looked like if it had turned out exactly as you thought it would be at 18 or so?  Why start planning now?

The last 4 months there hasn’t been a week where someone didn’t bring up my dating life. As if I don’t have anything else to do than manhunt.  Am I supposed to drag my sweaty (Oh,..and it is I can tell you) ass over to guys ..pretend I am interested in so I can calm the world around me and say..It’s ok..I got a live one..just in time hey?

Sometimes I wish I was less complicated. Not always wanting to be/do the opposite of what is expected. Because that is sort of what I like to do. I wish I liked dating, having just one job and settling down. But the truth is….I am going to 29 the shit out of life till it runs dry.

 

Dear Housemate,

Dear housemate,

Though I know you envision yourself a ghost, a master of disguise,
I now have to tell you this,
I don’t think it will come as a surprise.

That, alas, the opposite is true,
Your grossness has been found out.
We all know it was you.

The long curly hairs in my razor, really weren’t mine.
You transformed the white spotless shower walls into a curtain of body hair and grime.

It’s fine you empty your nose out over the sink.
And what an aim I might say!!I’m impressed!
I would never reach that back wall, I think.

When it’s time to sit down after a long day of work.
You make sure you welcome me with a nice smelly burp.

You close the windows because it’s so cold.
Leaving the stench of your farts and other unleashed fumes to unfold.

This one time I got annoyed and spoke my mind clear.
But you said: “Whatever Ains! It doesn’t smell, it goes straight into the atmosphere.”

That’s fine, I’ll have dinner in my room again, alone.
So you can enjoy your extra loud trash metal and hardcore without my moan.

I’ve always wonder what the limit is of your beer bottle collection on the floor.
Twenty-five? Thirty-two? Sixty-four!?

Ok, ok,..you have your heart in the right place and you do have your good days.
You picked up the hoover once and almost made it across the hall way.

Remember that one time, where you attempted to do the dishes?
The sink was full of water and crap for days, you gave up and went out with the missus.

So I’d lie if I’d say I’ll be missing you, my heart filled with grief.
Actually I know for sure the both of us will find it a great relief.

Soon the day will come where we’re moving out, so we can live without any strain.
So let’s part and promise to never live with each other again.

 

 

Female Chewbacca

When is using Hot Wax ever a good idea? And why do I keep thinking that THIS time it will be better? De-hairing. Not my favorite thing in the world. And as much as I am pro feminism…after a week of not shaving even I agree with the next best guy.

Maybe it doesn’t help that I have dark hair. Where other woman seem like the perfect smooth angels,..I feel like a modern Chewbacca. (Word actually recognizes Chewbacca as a real word, impressed) So I have been shaving and plucking since god knows when.

I remember being like 12 and secretly using my mums razor for my legs, while locked up in the bathroom. (Sorry mum! )Then not long after plucking my eyebrows to shreds and not long after that all hair becomes an obsession.

Most of the time I am just thankful I live in Holland, where you get a break for at least 7 months of the year. When I was living in Australia waxing is the norm. Every four weeks I visited a salon who took care of it all. It was cheap, and I’d be out in 20 minutes. But the pain is insane. And yes, yoi can grow it, but what is with this itching after a certain length?

So now, years later, I’ve settled happily for my razor. Until today. I have a few friends who al keep talking about the epilator (worst torture  method since the iron bull) and waxing at home. They make it sound like it’s the easiest thing ever and I got curious.

Why the hell did I get curious!!

I went out to the shops and got myself some hot wax..I mean, it sounds  like the salon stuff.. My housemate had just left so there would be no questions about  what I was doing in the bathroom for so long.  I heated it up as instructed and started spreading the stuff on. This itself is a complete task. The wax was spilling down my leg, onto the bathroom floor and everything nearby. And hot wax on your private parts is not an enjoyment! Wow! Ok so my hands are covered in green stuff and I’m trying to “make a swift motion against the hairs”. Only parts of the wax come off, some of them have dried so much they are too hard. When the bit finally comes of, I am bleeding. But, yes , I continued.
The hairs come out, that’s something. But it hurts as I have to do one piece over an over before it comes off completely. The wax keeps breaking. It’s hard to time it right, when I am too quick, it hasn’t dried yet and all I do is cover myself more in this green and smelly mess. My sink has a little pile of hard green wax with hairs sticking out of it all over. And then I make the mistake of spilling the wax on parts, one should never have wax smeared on to.

I want to cry. I have no idea how to get this off. I look down and see a pink, bleeding and half hairy mess, with one blotch of green dried up wax that I am too terrified to take off.  Half a liter of oil does the trick and I decide to quit this crazy impulse I had.

As I walk to the bin I can feel parts of me stick together as I move. And I find another strand of wax wrapped around my ankle. I chuck the whole pan in there and vow to love myself, even when I feel like Chewbacca.

 

Roads, crossroads and shitballs

The road to work is deserted. I love mornings like this, it’s sunny and no wind. I pop in my earphones and start flicking through my Ipod. I only have one brake working, so I am feeling a little stupid when I realise I am holding it in my wrong hand. If something happens now I can’t brake. But, it’s quiet so I go on.

Suddenly a car rushes onto the road from the right, cutting me off. If it wasn’t for my Ipod, I would have seen or heard him coming. Though it’s my bad I still feel a surge of annoyance rise up. The feeling is soon diminished and replaced by a big smile on my face. Half awake, Dick is smiling back at me and rolling down the window. “Morning! I just got your message.”  He slows down and we ride next to each other. His smile changes to a serious face “Ains, I really want to go back so badly.”

Just before I left the house I shared a Timehopp post with Dick. This app shows you all the things you posted on that date. In this case 6 years ago. We had just finished out trip together in Australie. I stayed, his time was up. Dick had posted a message on my Facebook wall, happy for me I had just made it back to Broome. Explaining how he’d love to join me for a sunset. Then saying that he sometimes just lies awake, unable to sleep due to homesickness. Homesickness for a place that was once our home away from home. At that time, I avoided every possible idea of going home. I had just arrived in paradise, I was in no rush to go anywhere else.

But now, I am home. It’s perfect and absolute shit-balls at the same time. For every thing that I am grateful to be here, there is another reason I wish I was somewhere else. We came home after living on another planet. Time passed, but we will never be the people we were before. Not even close.

It is so incredibly frustrating to not be able to explain to anyone what you experienced, because there are no words that come close. The more time passes, the more people expect you to move on, get back to your old life, into the mould of society. That everything will come flowing back to you naturally, but it doesn’t.

It’s my one life experience that connects me to half the world, yet makes me feel like the loneliest person alive. This is why I am grateful to have Dick living right here in my home town. We have been through so much, we just have to look at each other or say hi and for a little while, my loneliness melts away.
One line of “Hey Ains, remember that old piece of shit van we had?” And we can laugh. Knowing we are laughing about the same things, that it’s ok, and that we are not crazy. That it’s only a matter of time that we’ll go back and do it over.

As I am cycling next to the car, there’s a line of cars piling uo behind Dick’s. We’re forced to part again and head back to the normal things in life. We agree to have coffee soon. Not today though, it’s busy at work today. I wave him goodbye, turn my music on with the right hand and ride off to work. Enjoying this road a little more than I did before.

For not all that wander are lost.

dickie

Sober Bob flashing her undies.

Not drinking is no big deal to me. It’s been so long since I’ve had a drink that I’ve come become quite accustomed to going out amongst alcohol fueled crowd.

Lately, I’ve become almost too busy to go out. Let alone, do my hair properly. It’s always up, and my clothes are easy.  During my traineeship at the vet  I wear old manky stuff that’s ok to get peed on, for work I have to look a certain way which gives me the options: Black shirt #1 or black shirt #2. When I have to go to school I am usually so tired from getting up so early, I just wear what I can find on the floor in the dark.

You can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out I had a wedding to go to soon. Followed by a pang of panic as I found out I was having the every-girl-in-the-world-problem: Nothing to wear. I am not the girliest girl and don’t own a proper dress, my only ‘nice’ shoes are my € 10 h&m heels, which are ruined by mud and candle wax (Don’t ask).  I am made for jeans or shorts, the end. But God forbid that you wear those to a wedding, I found a little strapless pink dress in the end.

The wedding itself was ok, though the more weddings I attend, the more I find I probably won’t get married. Sure, it looks very romantic, but all just a little over the top, to me. Anyway I am not complaining about the parties afterwards. Crazy! Unlimited cola for me, yahoo! Before you know it the carefully picked out dress is covered in beer and your pretty hairstyle sweated out in a wild dance.

Blend in quite alright. I might even be a little crazier than most in the crowd as I am doing this sober and you are in a blur. You can do whatever you want, no one will remember tomorrow but you.

All of a sudden this Dutch song came on, translated as  “I feel sexy when I’m dancing”. Loved this tune and soon one of the guys came over for a dance. As the crowd parted a little I made a bit more of an effort. But seriously, dancing sexy while a crowd is watching, actually thinking about moves,..jeez. Couldn’t somebody have warned me? The guy, Rodney, gave me a twirl and stepped back while holding my hand. I thought it was a great idea to flick up my leg while stopping in this pose in order to spin back on the next beat. And I did spin back. Including my dress that got caught on my heal when I was doing so, resulting in pulling down my whole dress altogether.

I couldn’t have reacted more quickly while stumbling over my own dress that now had hole where my was still stuck. Rodney is a friend, and did what all friends do,..laugh his ass off. I got a hold of my dress and backed off, but there was too much laughing to continue the dance.

This also was my last attempt to ever wear a dress in public again.

So there are those moments where I can look back and cringe. Though I know Rodney remembers far too well, I know no one else will.

Lady-bits-antics

There is nothing more awkward for any female on this planet than having a full check up at the gynaecologist. Trust me, I can’t think of anything worse, but it’s my annual obligation to check if I don’t have tentacles growing out of my uterus, or a mutated hobbit growing inside me. You know, the usual stuff.

For my last check-up I asked my sister along. She is a med student and watching something like this is, to her, the best thing that could happen this year. Then again, I might as well have someone familiar and honestly interested in my hoo-ha with me for support.

The session usually starts with a bunch of questions about your sex life and vagina. Working through them, the gynaecologist  suddenly asked if it would be ok to have an intern to help with the exam. Errr,..  “Yeah I guess”. Students need to learn somehow right?  The more the merrier?

A young guy walks in, not saying a thing and the most serious face you have ever seen. So after the whole ‘drop your pants and sit in this amazing you-can’t-hide-anything chair the gyno-lady starts explaining all the steps in medical terms to the intern, who continues to nod in silent seriousness. To me, this is all quite humorous and awkward at the same time. Somehow his serious face, doesn’t match me half naked with my lady parts on a weird angle. Then she pulls on a glove, letting it slap against her wrist and applies half a tube with lube to her fingers. Let the games begin.

No matter how often you tell yourself ‘ah it’s alright they see this a million times a day’ having three people stare at your vagina, including a spotlight so they can ‘see’ clearer, this is a far from comfortable experience. She starts the manual internal exam and then asks the intern to follow her instructions as h will continue the exam. He gets this speculum so they can have an even closer look and really tries jabbing it in all sorts of angles that hurt so much I want to cry. Finally the gyno- lady takes over and does it properly. This is when my sister jumps up excitedly, shoves the doctors out of the way, gasps and then yells “Omg I can like see your womb!” Note to self: Next time keep it a solo event.

Still leg strapped in the chair, I am down to the last exam, an internal ultrasound. Basically this is just a super expensive dildo with a built in camera. The intern takes a minute to adjust his composure, takes a few deep breaths, squirts the other half of the tube of lube on the device and goes for it. Or so he thinks. Three long minutes pass as he tries to find the right opening and angle. Again I can feel tears start to appear, but not from pain. My sister gives me one look and we both burst out laughing at this guy. I mean how hard can it be,…for a guy!? “How long have you been working here?” I ask. “Oh, this is my first week” he replies smiling.

I eventually leave the room feeling like a complete useless guinea pig. Leaving behind a mortified doctor to be, a fascinated sister and a brand new appointment for next year.