‘Soon after  I met Robert at a small dinner party at my American friends Joe and Melanie’s home. Robert was stationed in Broensem in Limburg on the American army base. He had come down to Amsterdam for the weekend.   We were eight around the table. Three of them couples. Naturally they sat Robert next to me. It was a fun evening. You could tell that Robert and I hit it off well. Other than his military crew cut, I thought he was good looking – handsome even. Good conversationalist and unlike many shallow Americans at the time coming to Holland mainly for cheap drugs, I found Robert to be quite intelligent and sympathetic. A really nice guy.

‘A week or two later, he calls me and asks me out for dinner. When we had first met, he had taken a train from Limburg to Amsterdam, but this time around he comes by a car. A cute little red MG convertible. I am obviously impressed. At the time, I was twenty and him twenty one. Following that first date, he begins to practically drive into Amsterdam every weekend and me proudly showing him around my newly found and the most happening city of Europe.  Some weekends we would meet also at my parents in Alkmaar. Over a period of time, they too had grown fond of Robert. He tells me how much he loves me and that he wants to marry me and to take me back home to America to his parents. He tells me, I could continue my ballet and even go back to school and he will enroll in graduate school. He loves everything about Holland – riding bike, eating our fat pancakes, piping hot kroketten from vending machines, pommes frieten met mayonnaise, Indonesian Nasi Goreng, Loempia and Krupuk. Everything he says sounds so wonderful and so rosy.

When his service ends, he invites me to travel with him through Europe. We are young and we are carefree. And we are so very much in love. I quit my job and we hitch-hike all the way down to Greece. And we get married soon as we return, with his mother in attendance to represent his side of the family.  I meet the rest when we move to the US. They are all nice and welcome me warmly. Robert enrolls at the University of California in Berkley. I work there as a teacher’s aid.  But we eventually end up living in Chicago suburb of Skokie, where with help of an old friend, he starts Private Mailbox business. Not very exciting, but he has made quite a success out of it.

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