“I came to The Netherlands to be an au pair. I was placed in a family with two children. Because the parents were often absent I was responsible for all kinds of extra domestic chores like cleaning, laundry and cooking. I worked much more hours than we agreed on. Because I wanted to make a good impression I didn’t say anything. When eventually I did say something about it, they replied: ‘But we are like family!’ After a while the kids became very attached to me. I noticed their mother could not appreciate this. She kept comparing me with the previous au pair. She would say things like: ‘Laura, didn’t mind to work extra hours’ and ‘Laura never complained.’ Whenever she said that, all I could think was: ‘Why is she not around anymore?’
“In my family everyone practices a different religion.”
“What do you mean?”
“My aunt married a Jewish man and now she is orthodox. My other aunt is married to a man from Suriname and their daughter became Muslim. My grandmother was Christian so when she died we all gathered in church.”
“And what are you exactly?”
“Just a human being..”
“My boyfriend doesn’t speak Dutch but every Thursday he brings home the Metro Newspaper. Then he makes me translate your column, word by word..”
Sunsine has arrived in Amsterdam. .