A short story: This is Home (Dit is thuis)

For those who don’t read Dutch: hover your cursor over the Dutch text, and an English translation will be summoned.

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My feet lingered before the yellow line. The line always made me nervous, as though I would be turned away. We made eye contact as I came forward. “Good afternoon, sir.” He looked up and down. I didn’t have a beard in the passport photo. I had considered shaving it just to make this encounter less awkward, but it seemed irrational to throw away ten months of growth, for whatever minimal effect it might have on the immigration officer. I was just being paranoid, I knew. An American of good standing shouldn’t expect problems at a European passport control. “Goedemiddag, meneer. Waarom bent u hier?” “I am here to study.” He compared my bearded and shaven faces. “Welkom. Gaat uw gang.” Continue reading