A rose in the supermarket

Albert is lucky to have her.

I for one am happy that she’s back this year.

I wouldn’t know anymore what a summer without Roos would look like.

The first time I saw her

she was standing underneath the veranda of the reception.

Here in the Termas. It was July, she and her family where staying in Casa Palmeira for two weeks.

It was raining when she arrived.

In July.

How is that possible? It’s quite rare that it rains in July.

They were standing in a row, all five abreast, underneath the narrow veranda, all saddened because of the rain. They probably came from a dutch summer – I’m not sure anymore, it’s been 10 years. You expect beautiful weather, a pleasant reception, that sort of thing, and then you stand there in the rain waiting for someone to finally show up.

Nice start

but from that moment forward it improved rapidly.

I just came running from the kitchen to take a bite of bread, to eat in front of the computer, because I really, surely, definitely, finally, have to finish this blog today, otherwise I’ll be up at 2 o’clock saturday night uploading the bl…. thing.

When I hastily threw a butter knife in the sink, Roos shouted at me: “No throwing with knives, Ellen!! You’re breaking your own rules!”

Relationships can change like that in a decade. From a tomboy, with braces and glasses, that continuously came to me to chat and wasn’t shy at all, she became a tall blonde, still with glasses, no braces, with whom I can make jokes forever. Stupid jokes. Funny jokes. Nasty jokes. Just all kinds of.

How do you describe ”it clicks?”

At first her mother was worried that she would bother me – that’s a normal for a mother, I recognize the feeling. But there was no bother, because the situation was very easy from the beginning.

(This is not the most flattering photo of me, but it is a nice one of Roos.)

As a child, Roos would often come to chat with me, and when I needed to focus on reservations or something like that, I would just say: ”O, help, there’s Roos again, no no I can’t! I can’t cope with that!! Go away! Shove off!” And then she would just shove off. No problem.



Then I would see her somewhere else, and we’d talk anyway

They came year after year, but then the oldest left, then the middle one, and then the family vacations where over for the time being. And then you go and do other things.

In the last year they came there was a problem. There was a troublesome volunteer, who liked to boss over the younger volunteers. When I realised what was going on, we had a conversation with an unpleasant ending. That is to say … unpleasant for her. One of the few times I asked a volunteer to leave earlier.

It was a relief for everyone, but I had a bit of a gap in the schedule. This also didn’t turn out to be a problem. Roos had become 17 and was planning to come volunteer the next year anyway. So she stayed about 10 days longer to already get some practice.

There was a belgian girl, Nathalie, with a similar sense of humour

A very important ingredient in a volunteer! And there was an english girl, who couldn’t understand our jokes, but was very warm and friendly.

After a talk with her parents and changing her ticket, she moved in to her own room upstairs in the bathhouse. And the next day she got to know me as a slavedriver.

Apparently she didn’t mind that, because it’s the 3rd year that she’s come to volunteer during the summer.

Like I said: Albert* is lucky to have her. As long as it lasts, because it just temporary. A way to ponder what a Roos wants to do with Life.

I secretly think: it’s the best register of all Albert Heijns.

Go and check it out in Egmond-aan-Zee. Now you still have the chance.




*Albert Heijn is one of the biggest supermarket chain in Holland.