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Mixed feelings

With mixed feelings I glance outside. It’s raining. It hasn’t done that for a while. We certainly can use it and I hope it will rain a lot more in the next two months. But today I would have liked to see it differently. Because the delegation from Alicante can arrive at any moment. To check whether our Casa Rural meets all the necessary requirements.

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Three years

When I walk downstairs my mother has just finished cleaning the fireplace. As she walks into the kitchen to make me a cup of coffee, she notes that is has been exactly three years since we started cleaning and reorganizing the house. A little later my sister Noëlle receives exactly the same message from Facebook. Photos of what the house looked like at the time…

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Bon Patata

With a questioning look in his eyes he holds up one of the papers. “What is this?” I smile apologetically. It’s something I applied for online a long time ago with the help of my father’s digital certificate. “Does your father work?” he continues. “No, he is retired,” I answer. “In Spain?” He raises an eyebrow. “No, in the Netherlands.” I smile apologetically again.

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Svetlana

I’ve just sat down on the couch with a cup of coffee, when our father walks into the living room. He looks around inquisitively. He raises one eyebrow. Almost surprised. “Is Svetlana still sleeping?” he asks, slightly mockingly. I have to restrain myself from spluttering my coffee all over the table. Instead I shake my head. No. Svetlana is not still in bed.

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Like home

I immediately dismiss his apology. “No problem at all,” I tell him. If he hadn’t said anything, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. “This is Benialí,” I reassure him. Here, no one will bat an eye if you show up in your pajamas in public. I doubt whether Raul, the baker who supplies all eight villages with fresh bread every day from his van, would even recognize us…

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Firewood

“Who put that yellow monstrosity in front of your door? And that tree?! Do you sell firewood these days?” One of the local residents starts laughing uncontrollably at his own joke. Although I try my best not to burst out laughing too, I decide not to give in that easily. “Keep laughing!”, I answer. “You’re just afraid that you won’t win the competition…

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Our business card

When I hand him our business cards, he looks at them critically. “This font is much too small,” he says sternly. I nod meekly. I know. Pascual, the local pub owner, is just as direct as the average Dutchman. “Our address is not on it either,” I answer. “I forgot.” He shakes his head. Although he is not completely satisfied with the business cards that I may have made…

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No going back?

“Liars! All of them. Every single one. How can they sit there?! Smiling on that bench at the end of every episode…” I can’t help but nod in affirmation when our friends (who own a hotel a few meters from ours) start ranting about the average “Ik Vertrek”-episode*. He is right. We just watched them trying to fix half their roof with a budget of €12 half an hour ago.

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Full of Love

When I want to grab the car keys, my middle sister is holding up the shopping list right in front of me. “Where do you think we can get this…”, she asks me with a smile on her lips. “At the Aldi or the Mercadona?” I run my eyes over the list. “Lettuce, tomatoes, avocados…” I don’t see anything that stands out. It’s only when I reach the bottom of the list that I start laughing.

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Perfectly imperfect

To say that our plan is anything but original is an understatement. We are not the first foreigners who want to start a successful Bed & Breakfast in Spain. But it is not originality we are after. In being our own boss, we hope to organize our lives more according to our own insights. With more freedom, time for each other and time to enjoy life. And all this in…

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