“Give me one of your children and you’ll have my butcher shop,” he joked.

Bee has moved to Italy with her love Arjen and their children. She talks about their new life there.

I put Brunello to bed for his afternoon nap. He curls up close to me, his nose buried in my neck and his arms around me. Brunello is very sensitive and has a lot of love in it. I look at his long eyelashes and blond curls, he is so terribly handsome, it is almost dangerous to walk around with our blond god here in southern Italy. Brunello is almost an attraction for people here, on the street, on the beach and in the supermarket: everyone melts and compliments us with our beautiful children.

carried on the hands

Sometimes moments flash through my mind from the past seven years and where I am now. Three insanely beautiful healthy happy children later, living in a country where they are loved and where everyone talks sweetly to them. Mariangela, the sweet lady in the pharmacia (pharmacy) among us, greets them like an angel. She helped them a number of times when they fell, and then she cuddles the kids when we pass by. She was also very happy with the children’s Dutch pepper nuts. We hand them out to those we love here. Like the brothers Lino & Roberto from restaurant La Rotondo. Brunello is already welcome in the kitchen there and often helps chef Roberto. We eat there regularly and already feel so welcome and at home. More than we have ever felt in the Netherlands. Roberto’s look at Brunello moves me. It makes me cry, so sweet and special how sincerely his love radiates to my children whom he has only known for two months. Even police officers greet Brunello as if he were the prince of the town.

special man

That I can raise three healthy, happy children is anything but self-evident and I am well aware of that. A man approaching me on the street moved me. He had no children, but he always wanted to be a father. How bad it is if you want to become a father, but it remains only wishes and you are surrounded by children. Right here in Italy, where children are sacred and everything revolves around the child’s well-being. The man looked at me with his deep green eyes and beautiful sun-kissed skin. He sat on a chair outside his butcher’s shop, waiting for people to enter. “Mi complimenti”, he said with a friendly smile, looking at my three children who were ducking down the street after me (because cars, stay close to mom). We passed him because we were on our way to the greengrocer after a nice day at the beach.

“You have beautiful children, unfortunately I have none,” he said, and for a moment it seemed as if he was touched and his eyes watered. “Give me one of your children and you’ll have my butcher shop,” he joked, giving me a friendly wink. “It was my wish to become a father, but it was not allowed, you are a blessed man.” After a short but powerful conversation, I moved on. I shot drunk, got tears in my eyes and kissed my three special children very hard. What a special man. Normally you would cringe when someone says that to you, but not from this gentleman, you literally felt the love radiating from him.

Also read: Bien: ‘He makes her feel like she’s not worth it’

‘Ciao Bello’

On our way to the greengrocer, we passed the large square where a group of boys of about ten years old were playing football. We were passing by, and as I was holding the Barolo dolce, I said to one of the boys with the soccer ball under his feet: “Fai attenzione”, in other words: watch out! The boy turned and looked up happily when he saw the Barolo dolce. “Ciao Bello”, he said in his enthusiasm and quickly stroked his cheek. I shot back, because I really didn’t expect such a reaction. Such a loving, respectful, very sweet response from a boy of ten. It could have happened in a split second and he went back to playing football, but the way things are done here, the way people interact with each other is so incredibly valuable.

Such moments happen to us all the time, several times a day Arjen and I look at each other and we swallow our tears, or we are again surprised by the cordiality that comes our way. I have never experienced this, never felt so hot and intense, where have I been in my entire life?! I may have moved here thirty years too late, but luckily we are here at just the right time for our three insanely beautiful children.


For three months we traveled along the Atlantic Ocean from Amsterdam all the way up the front of the boot to Castellabate. Taste, experience, feel and see. In this way, we knew that Northern Italy appealed to us the least, and this only increased our curiosity about the Adriatic Sea. It was already clear that we wanted to emigrate, but we left open where we wanted to end up. By driving, calling hotels and making arrangements, we have visited all the new places in the last few months. As soon as we drove into southern Italy, it felt like we were literally stepping into another world. We had to get used to it because everything was so different from what we were used to. Now we are getting more and more involved in the lifestyle and I can’t, no, I don’t want to imagine myself any other way.

The red terracotta soil was originally enchanting to behold. But also the richly filled pieces of land with thousands of olive trees. I can laugh so much when I see Dutch people walking on the beach and hear the two meter tall Dutchman shout from the bar: ‘Nadien! Nadine! Seam! Would you like ice cream or a slice of pizza? Huh what?’ – ‘Just do ice cream’ and that he then goes to the beach with two pieces of pizza, coffee and ice cream to provide Nadine with the Italian delights. You see them relaxing, enjoying themselves together in the sea and enjoying themselves. Because that’s what you do here: really enjoy it.

Take care of eachother

Vincenzo, the chief of police here, who first worked as a police chief for the Naples police, appealed to us because of – you guessed it – the beauty of our blonde Brunello. Such a blond child is unique here, and the officers lifted him proudly. He became shy, that doesn’t happen quickly.

“You will have a wonderfully happy life here,” he said with a warm smile. He scrolled through his phone book and gave the number of one of the best pediatricians in the area. “Tell me I gave you his number, I wish your children the best care, call him if you need him.” We were stunned, a person who talks to you on the street, has a chat with you and immediately gives you the number of the best pediatrician. “You look out for each other here,” he said. “Get used to it.” Hopefully we will too, it is such a gift that so many lovely people care about us and are committed to us. I think it’s worth a documentary, I see a new project coming. To be continued…

Ps do you want to start shaping your emigration plan? See this photo on my Instagram account. In it, I provide a list of tips on how to start making your emigration dream a reality.

See you next Saturday!

Kiss the Bee

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