*NOTE: This post was previously unpublished*
I recently spent just over week in The Netherlands, on a whirlwind tour, visiting my partners old haunts. I’ve been dating Dominique Top for over 6 months, and I was dragged, not quite kicking and screaming, to visit the places she considers to be home.
I was somewhat apprehensive of the trip, for the first time, in a long time, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. Domi had booked the flights, tickets, dinner dates, and accommodation. The latter of which began with sleeping on a small boat in a marina, just next door to the boat where her father hangs his (pirate) hat.
My first meeting with her father, a self styled pirate, seemed to go well, possibly due to the bottle of rum I brought along as a gift. Not that there was much of it left, as we staggered back to the boat we were sleeping in. Despite not feeling fresh the next morning, the exploration began there, and involved a trip to see her mothers family, celebrating a birthday, meeting childhood friends, and a bit of cultural exchange(the best bit being a tour in a small boat around Amsterdam’s waterways).
For reasons that still escape me, I must have been judged be a good enough catch to get the blessings of Domi’s friends and family, for I made it through that piece of our trip in one piece, rather than being discovered a few weeks later washed up on the banks in Loosdrecht.
As we were nearing the end of my stay, it was time for the penultimate challenge, attending Awakenings techno festival. Going into it, I mostly saw it ending in disaster due to: The language barrier, getting inebriated, getting separated from Domi and struggling to make it home, or a mixture of all 4. Or perhaps worst of all, I’d spend the entire event, overflowing with with anxieties about those things. As it turns out, there was very little to be concerned about. In the first place, there was probably more English on display than Dutch, and being mostly sensible adults, we were able to avoid getting into situations where we couldn’t find each other. I do feel like the need to congratulate the organisers for a very well run event, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive, safe, well thought out and aggro free. Awakenings I will return.