Science - February 17, 2005

Couples/ ‘She’s stubborn’

In the week of Valentines Day, Wb starts a new series on the joys and frustrations of love affairs between students of different nationalities. This week we start with a couple that got involved on Valentines Day.

Anna Costa i Rovira (24, Catalonia, Spain), MSc-student Plant Biotechnology, and Mark van der Wal (35, Netherlands), aircraft engineer, have just celebrated their first anniversary.

Anna: ‘We met at a capoeira group in The Hague, where I was working as an au-pair in the second half of 2003.’

Mark: ‘But the first time we really got to talk was at the New Year party thrown by our capoeira-master.’

Anna: ‘He asked for my phone number.’

Mark: ‘She was about to leave The Hague to study in Germany. And I said before you leave we have to go out. So later we went for a drink.’

Anna: ‘When I was in Germany he invited me for a Valentine’s party in The Hague and since then we’ve had a relationship.’

Mark: ‘What attracted me was that she was shy and a bit mysterious. Now she still is a mystery sometimes.’

Anna: ‘I found him nice to talk to. I just felt good around him.’

Mark: ‘The only thing is that she’s quite stubborn. It’s her best and worst quality at the same time. Sometimes I would like to strangle her. Like with your birthday present. As she kept stealing my slippers when she was at my place, for fun I bought a pair of slippers I never would wear. They were pink with flowers. But she was angry for half a day because I had bought something I didn’t like myself.’

Anna: ‘He can be stubborn too. And he doesn’t like cleaning, the floor or the dishes. And I don’t like his cats.’

Mark: ‘Catalonians treat their pets differently. She was scared of my three cats at first.’

Anna: ‘One is okay, but another one bites me and the third is constantly around.’

Mark: ‘She’s afraid to throw him off her lap, although they always land on their feet.’

Anna: ‘I also would have liked him to start a course in Catalonian and not Spanish.’

Mark: ‘Because of her study, we might move anywhere. I can get work anywhere too. If I speak Spanish I have a better chance of getting a job.’

Anna: ‘But my mother speaks Catalan.’

Mark: ‘When I met her she kept saying: tell him this, tell him that.’

Anna: ‘But I guess this is it, although maybe you should come back next year.’

Mark: ‘I’m also happy with our relationship. I still live in The Hague, but I think that’s better because we now get to know each other more slowly.’

Anna: ‘We both appreciate our freedom.’ / YdH

Re:act