“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. And now they are sitting there. All smiles. Telling everyone that they never even had a moment of regret. Unbelievable! They must have long forgotten those moments of regret. All the fatigue and stress that usually accompanies an emigration must have had an impact on their memory. Because not having a simple moment of regret when moving to another country and setting up a completely new business, is something I find really hard to believe.
Luckily, we can still laugh about it together. After all, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. Laughter is free. And it doesn’t require a complicated bureaucratic procedure in a language that you still haven’t mastered one hundred percent and will, at best, only cost you a few years of your life. Because of the stress. And not the duration of the procedure in question. And so we pour ourselves another glass of cava and eat a chocolate (or four more). Those extra few years lost due to too much drinking and snacking, won’t make that much of a difference either anymore.
But it sure helps that we are not alone. And that it’s not yet time for the credits in our imaginary “Ik Vertrek”-episode. By the time that time comes, it won’t be just the three of us. Because if I am going to blissfully proclaim that I have not regretted it for a second (also a lie), then I would like to do that sitting together with our parents. Without whose help we certainly would not have been able to open our doors this year. Together with the owners of the hotel we mentioned earlier. They are in the same boat as us and with them we are going to put beautiful Benialí on the (Dutch) map. And together with all the neighbors and friends we have met over the past three years. Because I would happily sacrifice a few years of my life for a place in this warm community. Cheers. Here’s to a new year. A new beginning. And a final no going back. (With the occasional second of regret.)
*In the Netherlands there is a very famous television show called “Ik Vertrek”, where they film people who are planning to move abroad. I guess it’s based on the English show called “No Going Back”. Most of them plan to run a Bed & Breakfast and very often this will not go easily. They’re not prepared and/or don’t speak the language at all.