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11 years in the EU


Utrecht from forest

I wandered into the European Union anno 2000.

I began writing these pages then, in Amsterdam.

I was in the EU for 11 years; mostly Ireland, twice in the Netherlands, and a while in Spain.

I arrived at a time when the borders were open but the union was not quite federated. Movement (and non-movement) was untracked and unimpeded on the Continent. It was different in Ireland, which (with the UK) is outside of the Schengen area of open borders. But Ireland was better to me than any place I've ever been.

I lived for about two years in the Netherlands,* six months in Spain, and 8 ½ years in Ireland. I spent a New Year's Eve in Paris, and was in Romania for about two months during three visits.


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*When I first left the States, I'd booked a three-week stay on a houseboat in Amsterdam. I lived in Amsterdam for about seven months.

Three years later, I met a Dutch girl in west Ireland and went to be with her in Nijmegen. I lived there for about a year and a half.
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