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The boss decided that we wouldn't use the work permit

Nijmegen, the Netherlands, August 2004 —

I lived in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from August 2003 to January of 2005, and for most of that time I worked a few hours per week at an organic bakery downtown....

I was angry that A_ had decided not to use the work permit that CWI — the Dutch national employment agency — had granted us.

I understand better now [and realize] that multiple factors played into this event. I can probably identify a couple of them. I was being destroyed by my relationship with K_; and A_ knew this well. He probably didn't think I would last long in the country — indeed, when I left in January he wondered aloud why I hadn't done so the in the summer.

I loved K_, separate from the fact that we were no longer a couple. There's not much to say about that. (As of June 2006, she lives a few miles south of me here in Ireland — with another one of her boyfriends.)

But I suppose, too, that A_ had a little of his own female influence in making his decision — a wife and a new baby.

A_ had two baby daughters, then, and their mother as a partner. Obviously, stability would have been paramount within his household which was not only dependent upon the bakery but attached to it.

Whatever the reasons, the baker clearly didn't think it was a good bet for me to work there, training in over a half-year. He could not know whether CWI would grant further permission to work; and I suppose he couldn't know what I would do.

So an apparent clear opportunity for me had some serious drawbacks for A_, and I cannot blame him for making an executive decision.