“I used to work in New York in a Diner. One day a handsome Italian man came by to have breakfast. In the next few days he came back every morning to have breakfast. Only on the sixth morning he came by and I realized he was only there to see me. He was Italian but he lived in Amsterdam. I had already planned a eurotrip the next month so when I told him that I was coming to Europe he invited me to come to Amsterdam. I’m usually not that spontaneous but I could not come up with a reason not to see him. Who would have thought back then that four years later I would still be around.”

“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?’

“My relationships with women never lasted very long. Either they left or divorced me, one even died.”
“If you could change something about the past, what would it be?”
“I’d probably just stuck with Yolanda, she was a good girl.”

Nicaragua – Matagalpa

“If you could give the younger generation a word of advice, what would it be?”
“Stand up for your rights! I might be an old hippie but in my young days we protested against the violation of what we thought was right”
“What exactly should they fight for these days?”
“Well for example, they should fight for their privacy rights. These days it’s almost impossible to pay with cash money cause they want to know what you spend. All our mobile devices are being tracked all our information is out there for grabs. And we…we just stand there and watch . But then again I might just be an old hippie.”

“What is the hardest thing about being 14?”
“Being a child and becoming an adult at the same time. While your dad is secretly following you around to see if you are not lying about going to your friend, your mum is asking you if you should be on birth control.”