This week I’m going to try to post more often, because when people from back home ask me to tell them something funny or interesting that has happened to me here, I go blank and say something lame like, “Uhh…people here think my accent is weird?” when funny things happen to me ALL THE TIME and I don’t record them and forget.

This afternoon one of my coworkers from last year posted this video:


I had never heard of the Kelly Family before, but apparently it’s an Irish-American family that has a cult following in Europe, but mostly in Eastern Europe. I don’t know what Dutch people think of them, if they’ve heard of them at all.

It turned my gigglebox over.

I was pretty much laughing, screaming, and crying the whole time I watched it. Will came in from another room and saw that I had eyeliner-tinted tears streaming down down my face, so he asked me what I was watching. All I could say in that moment was “I don’t know!

I calmed down and we had dinner. On Sundays nights I have choir rehearsal, so after dinner I got my stuff together and left to catch a tram to the church where we practice. Walking to the tram stop was fine, checking in with my public transportation chipkaart was fine, finding a place to sit was fine. Halfway to the rehearsal, the laughter started to bubble up again, so I took a bunch of sips of water to keep myself from laughing on the tram. I got off and did a few deep inhales and exhales before going into rehearsal.

By the way, this is my choir. You can see that there are a lot of really tall people in this country (okay well I’m kind of short by most standards). That day I didn’t know enough Dutch/wasn’t confident enough to say, “Hey ya’ll…maybe shorter people go in front and taller people stand behind them? So we can see everyone’s entire face?”

Tonight we practiced some Schütz, some Gesualdo, and some Morales. Some German and some Latin. NOT funny music. For two and a half hours I tried to hyperfocus on the music, cough, scratch my nose, stretch…anything I could possibly do to keep “I AIN’T GONNA PEE-PEE MY BED TONIGHT, I AIN’T GONNA PEE-PEE MY BED TONIGHT” from taking over and rendering me helpless.

Even though we rehearse from 7:30-10 PM, a fiercely guarded Dutch custom is to have a coffee break in the middle of a meeting or rehearsal. Today someone brought spekkoek, or bacon cake, which is made with two different colored batters so it looks like bacon. See?


The choir director aggressively urged me to try some, so I took a piece and then he said, “Take MORE!” I was holding a cup of coffee in my other hand, so I said, “I’m already double-fisting it, man!” No one laughed.

So, I spent the second half of rehearsal hopped up on spekkoek and sugary coffee. I might have devoted more focus and energy to NOT laughing at the Kelly Family than our music. Now, I’ve been in this choir since September and the more I get to know these people, the more comfortable I am making jokes with them. However, I was NOT comfortable with busting out laughing in the middle of rehearsal and having to explain “I ain’t gonna pee-pee my bed tonight.”

I came home and finally could LOL all I wanted. Will said, “You probably just need to watch it again.” So we did.

It was the laugh-pacolypse. Part of me is glad we’re already married because it was some of the most intense laughing I’ve ever been through. Crying, sore abs, weird grunting noises etc. I got home over two hours ago and I keep spontaneously cracking up. I’ve been laughing the whole time I type this. I can’t type “I ain’t gonna pee-pee my bed tonight” without crying. I have a problem.