26 Feb
Categories: The Blog

Invading Holland will be taking a short break due to deadlines and general busyness. I will return in about a week.

18 Feb

Kiki: “I just want to marry someone who won’t try to make out with me.”

Me: “You could do what I did and put an announcement out on the internet that you are looking for someone.”

Kiki: “You asked the whole internet but you did not ask me? What is up with that?”

Me: “Well… we could…”

Kiki: “Well… Ok… You want to get married?”

Me: “Sure!”

Kiki: “Yay! So much awesome!”

This was immediately followed by a high five.

It was not exactly the traditional ‘getting down on one knee’ but this was how I became engaged to my friend Kiki for the one night only Wed & Walk event.

The next day we both changed our Facebook relationship status to ‘engaged’ and sat back to watch the flood of shocked messages from friends that soon filled our in boxes. Through this I discovered how many people I know display their shock through the use of phrases such as, “Dude?” and, “WTF!” or simply with, “?”

The night of the 14th quickly arrived and it was time for us to get married. We arrived at the place where we were to be joined in holy-micro-matrimony to discover that it was a small clothing boutique. Inside another wedding was about to start so we were asked to act as witnesses. It was during this that I realized there was a slight problem that did not involve the temperature of my feet. The service was in Dutch. Even after seven years of living in Holland I am still Dutch linguistically challenged.

If we had been ordering food at a fast food restaurant I would have been fine speaking and understanding Dutch. However, we were about to do something that was a little more complex and involved a bit more commitment then deciding weather I would like fries with my burger or not (even though I can answer, “I do,” to that question as well). I quickly realized that it was probably not a good idea to compare my relationship with my future wife to a happy meal no matter how good the free toy that comes with it is.

It just so happens that my short term spouse is very good at speaking and understanding Dutch. It was looking very likely that I would have to ask her to poke or kick me when it was time for me to say, “I do.” I just had to hope that with the fast food analogy still floating around in my head that I would not suddenly blurt out, “Yes, I will super size that,” instead by mistake.

As it turns out I was in luck because they soon realized I was not Dutch and offered to do the service in English.

Our friend Jen who was to be our photographer and bridesmaid arrived shortly before the service began. She had brought a wedding gift for us. A packet of Shrek first aid plasters because, as she stated, “love can be hard, sometimes people get hurt and that is why you need a band-aid to help you get through it. I believe that with the help of this wedding gift your love will grow just like that of Shrek and Fiona.”

After this it was almost time for the service to begin. While my wife to be was getting changed into her dress I was given the task of picking out the rings. A Russian wedding ring for me and a blue flower ring for her which I instantly knew was just right from all the others. Both of the rings were looked after by Trista our ring barer (Sadly, I forgot to make any Frodo jokes at the time).

Then the music started to play and my bride to be stepped out (of the changing room where she had been hiding) and looked stunning in her white dress and Ugg boots. What followed was truly magical and commandeered both our hearts.

The registrar told us to hold hands. We held hands.

The registrar told us to look deeply into each others eyes. Kiki looked deeply into my eyes. I looked deeply into her one eye because the vale kept on slipping and getting in the way of the other.

The registrar read the vows and told us to each say, “I do.” We each said, “I do.”

The registrar told us to exchange the rings. We exchanged the rings.

The registrar told us it was time to, “kiss the bride.” We looked awkwardly at each other wondering what to do next.

I was a very lucky man because my bride was (and is) very attractive and as (luck would have it) is also a member of the opposite sex. This alone ticks most of the boxes required for the go ahead to enjoy a good bit of snogging. However, we are also friends and that puts a big tick next to the ‘this is weird’ box.

Attempt number one: Kiss each other on the cheek: Fail. The registrar wanted to see us kiss in the wedding photo.

Attempt number two: Hide behind the bouquet and pretend to kiss: Fail. The registrar takes the bouquet away from us.

Attempt number three: Perform a very convincing stage kiss with out really kissing: Success. Everyone is fooled. The photo is taken and when it is developed it really does look like we got it on.

Everyone cheered and our few ours of marriage began. However we still had not thought about what we should do for our honeymoon. We only had until the sun came up again, and then our marriage would dissolve. We thought about going to Australia so I could enjoy part of my wife’s culture but it was too far. By this I mean we were going to go to the Australian Ice-Cream place on Leidseplein but we did not want to walk all that way. So, instead we decided to go to Ireland and by this I mean we went to the closest Irish bar. We enjoyed our few hours of matrimonial bliss over a veggie burger and a beef stew (and no, that is not a euphemism) as we discussed our future plans for our family of five children that we would all give ghetto names to.

But sadly the time for us to part came all too soon and we went our separate ways. I think a little part of both of us died inside that night. As the sun came up the next morning I became single again.

However, when I feel sorrow about the end of our marriage I simply have to remember one of the funniest things that happened during that magical night.

Ten minutes before we were to be wed, as we shared a last drink in a near by bar as un-married people, Kiki took the time to inform her father of the impending wedding. Neither of her parents knew about her plans before this moment and so she sent the following text message to her father who was traveling to Singapore at the time:

“It is traditional for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding. You owe me 20 euros.”

To which he simply replied:


8 Feb

Valentines Day is fast approaching. It is a day that gives us an opportunity (or a reminder that does not involve violence from a girlfriend) to show our feelings to that special someone through the giving of the traditional gifts of cards, chocolates and flowers. It also gives some people the excuse to display their feelings with Pepé Le Pew style acts of affection. However, this is not always advised since it seems only cartoon skunks can get away with such things with out receiving a restraining order. Valentines Day is also the perfect time to make a romantic proposal of marriage to that special someone.

Maybe the idea of marriage sounds scarier to you then riding a roller coaster while under going open heart surgery by an unqualified doctor who does not believe in anaesthetic but in Amsterdam you can not use that as an excuse. On Valentines Day it is possible to get married for just one night in Amsterdam.

The Wed & Walk event (Link) gives love ones, friends and even random people the chance to get married for just one night. The service starts at 6pm and the resulting legal marriage dissolves when the sun rises. The wedding includes a ring (with plastic gem), wedding confetti, a wedding Polaroid photo and even champagne.

This might sound like a strange idea but there are a lot of benefits to this short marriage:

– You only have to put up with your parents in law for one evening.

– If you need a new kitchen appliance but can’t afford it, get married just for the wedding gifts. No one said you have to give them back at the end.

– People who believe in no sex before marriage can have their cake and eat it.

– Your nagging mother who keeps on demanding you get married before 30 will no longer be able to have a go at you (technically). However, this will not stop her demanding grand children unless you have a very accommodating one night wife/husband or you start grabbing children off the street and claiming them as your own.

– If your partner meets with an ‘accident’ during your few hours of marriage you can claim some of their stuff. This is a great idea if they own a few CDs you really like.

– It gives people who are already married a chance to try out being a bigamist.

– If your husband or wife to be leaves you at the alter there is no need to fret. Just grab a random person off the street to be joined with in holy matrimony. You won’t have to put up with them for long.

– If your girlfriend has been nagging at you to make an honest woman of her you can do so. Just don’t tell her the marriage dissolves the next morning and hope she is that gullible.

– The marriage dissolves before your new wife can complain about the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV watching sports.

– The marriage dissolves before your new husband can complain about the amount of time you spend standing in front of the TV while he is trying to watch sports.

Anyone want to get married on the 14th?