On my last day here I took the long train trip through the Netherlands that I’ve never taken. I sped past fields of green, countless cows, and even a few windmills – exactly what one would imagine as the quintessentially Dutch landscape – to finally arrive in the small town of Tilburg, in the South of the country. What was I doing there? I was meeting my new niece, a little girl I was told looked and acted a lot like me. It seems surreal still that my cousin left his life in NYC to settle with his Dutch love in Tilburg and have a baby (and a French Bulldog). But the surreal nature of my day stopped there. The little girl is by no means a toddler version of me. She looks like her dad. Who thinks she looks like me. Which possibly can be explained by the fact that, as children, we spent more time looking at each other than looking in the mirror. He thinks her facial expressions are mine. I think they’re his. In any case, she seems happy and smart, and yes, a little mischievous too. Perhaps in that sense she does favor me after all.
Also, we all forgot to take pictures. We’re awesome like that.
Coming back to Amsterdam I kept thinking about how life has so many twists and turns. And how sometimes things change in quite dramatic ways. Tilburg seems like a different planet from Manhattan, and there is nothing like an international trip to wake up the restless beast inside me. Perhaps I too will move somewhere entirely unexpected. After all, if it was possible for my cousin it’s possible for me, isn’t it?