I recently attended a conference on Mixed Intimacies in a European context, which made my think about my own journey. I therefore decided to revise my previous article Denmark: No place for love.
The Netherlands luckily was much more open and forgiving of our perhaps naive thought, that we could just do as we pleased with our lives and travel back and forward between our respective countries before chosing to settle down in one of them. Denmark was asking for more. A long-term relationship living officially together for at least 1.5 years, a home of considerable size, 5000 euros in financial security and "of cause" a sufficient affiliation to Denmark. Due to work, studies and personal issues, traveling to see each other had been the only way for about 2 years of our relationnship. Now, however, as most couples eventually will, we came to the conclusion that we would like to live somewhat closer than 12.711 kilometers apart, the exact distance between Aalborg, Denmark and Casablanca, Chile (and yes, Casablanca makes this story sound like a big fat lie - but it really isn't).
Denmark however, was not convinced that more than 2 years of traveling to the other side of the world meant that we were serious about this obscurely romantic, almost 1579's like adventure, so they said no.
We were shocked. To say the least. But rebounced from this humiliating and unfortunate experience and decided to try in the land of bitterballen and tulips, the Netherlands. Here, we got accepted for 5 years within 3 short weeks.
We were shocked. Overjoyed. Apparently, living together suddenly becomes a right, IF you move to another European country. Amazing and unbelievable. How can it be more easy for me - a dane since literaly forever, payed for by the state in health and education since birth and even financially supported to go abroad by that same state - to get to live in a third country with the partner of my choice than in my OWN COUNTRY?
I know it seems obscure, but this is how the world works now child. Buckle up because although you belong to a nation, you can easily get kicked out following the slightest 'misbehavior'.
I recently found out though, that this 'misbehavior' is far from something new to the European culture and society. During a conference at the University of Amsterdam, I encountered some truely amazing images of Mixed Couples in Europe Between 1842-1943. Below you will find some of these. Despite their obviously humorous nature, these images reminded me that we are not the first couple to do this, and that it is not imposible, either on a personal level nor on state level, to get to live in peace with the person of your choice.
To be continued ...
To be continued ...