“Goes” is a name of a city. In English it means ‘to go’, a verb.  She goes to Goes. Jacobina is leaving Englewood to go to Goes.  It is pronounced as Goose but the G is guttural, a sound not used in the English language. I would not be surprised if the name has something to do with geese but I haven’t googled it and now I don’t have time to do that so I leave that up to you to check.

(My sister-in-law has just looked this up for me and apparently it derives its name from being founded by the banks of a creek called the Short Gos (Korte Gos)).


I am busy getting ready for my trip to the Netherlands. It shouldn’t be a big deal. I need to just pack a suitcase and drive to the airport but while I’m grabbing all my stuff together I see that my American passport has expired. From that moment on it is just one thing after another that needs to be fixed, updated or rediscovered. Dust has been gathering on my traveling life and the excitement grows as more and more things are becoming rediscovered. Black sweater? I haven’t worn that for two years!! Shoes? I never wear shoes.

A couple of weeks ago I had already taken steps to renew my American passport.

Dutch passport

I still have my Dutch passport, which also needs to be renewed, but that can wait until November. I felt a sense of urgency as I ran to Walgreens drugstore to get my passport photo taken. I don’t want to be picky on quality but the photo that was taken was absolutely terrible. I received two but I knew immediately that the Dutch authorities would not accept them. Anyway, as I was in a hurry I sent the blurred image to the US Department of State together with a cheque for $110 and the forms I had filled in.

A couple of weeks later a beautiful sealed document came in the mail, navy blue with gold lettering and filled with colored pages of the statue of liberty, an eagle and all sorts of symbols that this great country has. I am extremely proud of this document with its awful passport photo. It is a document I will cherish. It was earned at great personal cost. What makes me feel so good about this country? I experience a sense of greatness when I drive my car over the highways in Miami between the skyscrapers like a smooth rollercoaster ride, high up in the sky. Humans have been able to do extra-ordinary things by digging deep into their inner resources and creating their dreams.

I feel that a part of this society is resonating within me.

In many ways however I will always be Dutch in my everyday life. Since I have had a roommate, it has become clear to me that there is a difference between American and Dutch people. The trashcan is three times fuller than usual, the clothes dryer runs more often instead of the sun drying the laundry on the washing line. When I opened the fridge one night a huge bottle of Cherry Coke fell on the floor. Lying awake at night I can hear some television station talking nonsense and I think; this is American culture and I am never going to adapt to it.

I will not forsake the country where I was born, the tiny country of the Netherlands. I love it too dearly. I have chosen to embrace the best of both worlds and I am well aware of the differences.

PS. Heidemarie Burke made an unbelievably beautiful passport photo for me for my Dutch passport.


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