The story so far: For their holiday the Mortierstraat are making a tour of their parental homes. After a couple of visits Filippo is sick of constantly being seen as the foreigner.
Filippo looked on in fascination as everyone attacked the kale stamppot. This was the last stop on their tour of all their parental homes and they were at the table in Willem-Jan’s parents’ house. They had insisted on making stamppot. Midsummer or not, frozen kale or not, Willem-Jan’s mother could stand it no longer, she declared dramatically, that Filippo had never tasted stamppot. So now the Italian stared in amazement at people around him busy making little hollows for the gravy in their mountains of mash. A cuckoo clock ticked away in the background.
‘This is actually not bad at all,’ he said politely after the first mouthful, causing Willem-Jan’s mother to glow with pride. ‘You are such a positive group,’ she said. ‘We can see why it’s such plain sailing for Willem-Jan.’ Encouraging nods all around the table. Dutiful son had briefed them to keep mum about how he was doing academically. ‘Willem-Jan was always a keen student at secondary school too.’ Derk only managed to suppress an attack of the giggles by choking spectacularly on his stamppot. As Vera thumped his back, Bianca quickly changed the subject.
‘I’m so happy that we get to see so many parts of Holland this summer. First Brabant, then Rotterdam, Salland and now the Achterhoek.’
‘Yes, I think it’s a fantastic idea,’ nodded Willem-Jan’s mother, pointing at Filippo. ‘That way he gets to see a bit of the country.’ Filippo’s expression was a bit less polite now.
At about 11 o’clock they piled into the minibus, yawning like mad.
‘Let me drive,’ offered Filippo, ‘I feel totally awake, guys.’ As the kilometres went by, they nodded off one by one. First Bianca, then Derk and lastly Willem-Jan after chatting with Filippo for a while. Nobody noticed him leaving the motorway and changing direction. A little while later, Willem-Jan woke up. Disoriented, he rubbed his stiff neck. Shouldn’t they be home by now? he thought. He looked out confusedly, seeing yellow signs flashing past. For one long astonished minute he stared out of the window. ‘We are in Germany,’ he stated, jolting the others awake.
‘We are going to my home now,’ said Filippo with a grin. ‘To Italia.’