Today was Thea's birthday, and as tradition has it we took the four kids to Amsterdam for a fun and relaxing Sunday family outing. We parked the car on the outskirts of town (to save on parking costs) and took the tram to the Centrum where we got out at Leidseplein. From there we walked and zig-zagged all over the place, eventually making our way to Kalverstraat, Spui, Singel to look at number 378 where Thea and I used to reside romantically (a monument originally built in 1630), and then we meandered all the way down to Damplein. The weather was just perfect and the sun was shining. There was this cute art market where we found a couple of nice, colorful paintings just perfect for our house. Finally we sat down and recovered at an old brown cafe called De Schutter (I used to always go there during my first year in Amsterdam and write in my journal pretending I was some kind of future famous philosopher writer). Back to the car via the tram, and lucky Maarten could stand in the front of the tram, right next to the driver who was pressing all these buttons and making announcements for each stop. We got off where we had originally got on (except it was on the other side of the tracks of course) and went back to the car, driving the last ten minutes to Thea's parents' house in Osdorp. There we had some coffee and tasty chocolates and spent an hour in idle chat. At last we drove back and made it back home in time to put Sabien and Maarten in bath and then off to bed. All in all a full day.
While Thea was shaving my head this evening, I realized something very interesting and asked her, "Do you realize that now you have known me for more than half your life?"
Thea hesitated for a second and responded with a (somewhat) surprised tone in her voice, "Yes you are right. That is hard to believe."
"For me," I said "it was all worth it." I was thinking that on my next birthday I will also have also known Thea for more than half my life. That is hard to believe but true.
To think that almost half a lifetime ago I had met Thea in Norway purely by accident during my random travels. Fate and/or chance and/or meaningless criss-cross and/or symbolic gesture from above and/or the way it was always meant to be and/or just nothing to ponder. Take your pick if you dare.