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Rob Radboud

Barbara Yung's life in England

We went to my grandmother's house. A lot of my aunts, uncles en little nephews came to see us. For me it was the first time back in the Netherlands for many years and of course the family wanted to see this Chinese girlfriend from the big nephew from abroad. Barbara was amazed by the size of aunties, they were very big. And when they sat next to each other on the couch it was fun to see how they struggled when one of them tried to get up.

My grandmother lived alone and enjoyed our company. She cared for us, but left us alone. She told us that when she was young she would have liked to have done the same as what we were doing.

For us it was a perfect time. Being together 24 hours a day, being free from any interference from others.

During the day we travelled around in Holland, visiting sites, taking pictures of things we thought that could be part of a culture excursion and making sure that I wasn't on them. It was one of these holidays that things never went as we planned. When we went to Amsterdam, we took a trolley the wrong way. We only noticed this when we reached the end of the line, at a suburb. We took a few pictures from some sculptures in a local park and went home again. We never saw the old city of Amsterdam.

Another day we couldn't get the door open when the train was at the train station. We missed the place we wanted to go. Another time we stepped out at the wrong bus stop and had to walk for miles. We wanted to go to craft museum which looked interesting to us. It took us half a day to get there. Only they exposed things the local hand craft society had made like hand knitted table cloths and things like that. Not the art we had in mind.

We didn't care that it all when things went wrong and that we didn't get to the sites we wanted. It just made the holiday more exciting.

Every evening we went to the same local pub sitting in the same quiet corner. There Barbara wrote a dairy she made especially for this holiday. Ironically is that Barbara always did the writing about our relation in her dairies and now I am doing the writing about our life together.

1979 with grandma

Barbara and my grandma 









(translated by Zhi)


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