April 1st, 1970, Granada. Strolling in the Generalife, the wonderful gardens of the Alhambra, I started a conversation with a young lady who, like me, was enjoying the soft spring weather and the beauty of the scenery. The gardens, the view of the palace, the panorama of the city and the Sierra Nevada. She spoke French. My French was not great, but sufficient to have a half-baked communication. I asked her if she was Moroccan, but she turned out to be Brazilian.1 I also asked her what she was ‘doing’. In those days we used to ask people what they were ‘doing’, and one of my friends used to answer “I do what my mother tells me to”. I understood she was studying, but it wasn’t clear to me what. My guess was dentistry, but later it became clear it was theatre. As Pooh would say, “its the same”.2
From Granada we travelled together, hitchhiking to Toledo and Madrid. Then we travelled separately to Aix-en-Provence, where Marilene (as the person I had met in the Generalife was called) was studying. Three months later my brother Philip and I took a train to Aix, where we picked up Marilene and from there we continued to Spain. Exactly 100 days after we met we were back in Granada. From there Philip went on to explore other places in Andalucía, and Marilene and I travelled back to Holland. My parents received Marilene very cordially and hospitably, and we stayed with them in Amsterdam in a state of euphoria (apart from a small intermezzo when I had a fake appendicitis and had to be hospitalized for a week).
I had been busy with India and Indian music for some time already and had applied for a scholarship to continue my studies in India. In the summer I received a message the scholarship had been awarded, and I asked Marilene if she would consider coming to India with me. During her studies she had been working on Asian theatre and the whole idea pleased her greatly. Thus it happened, and somehow I felt it would be a good idea to get married before going to India; I proposed, she said yes. On the 15th of September, 1970, we proceeded by bicycle to the town hall where we were declared husband and wife, in the presence of my parents, my brother Philip and my late sister Aplonia.
Last year we were thinking about this date and figured that on the 15th of September 2019 we would be married for 49 years. Seven times seven. Seven times seven fat years. Well, there were meager years also, but we shouldn’t complain. On this page we will provide information about the plans from time to time. For the time being you can have a look at some ‘elfies’ by clicking on the photo-strip on top of this text. Or here!
Oh, by the way, this “7×7 wedding anniversary page” is just one page in the oioio.nl website, where I have been highlighting some of our activities over the past years.