‘When I was fifteen, my mother made me look for a part-time job to prepare for my future. I ended up at a cafe restaurant nearby and never did anything else. After HAVO I did try to follow a HBO management course, but diving into the books is not really my thing. I have to be busy.
“I also worked for five years in the beach pavilion where I am now, and since last year I have been back as a restaurant manager. I am responsible for the front of the restaurant, in the kitchen a colleague is in charge. We have recently been open again inside and we were immediately full, rain or shine. All kinds of parties and marriages, which were previously canceled due to corona, are now being scheduled.
“Working on the beach is special. In good weather you see so many people. With the smell of sunscreen and beer and all those people on sunbeds I always get a holiday feeling, no matter how hard I work. Although I currently work 50 hours a week, I have been able to make clear agreements with my boss that I will not work all evenings and weekends. I have three kids, two of them from my previous relationship who I see half of the week, and then I want to be there to pick them up from school and give them a bath.”
‘I have a joint account with my ex for our two children (6 and 4 years old). We both pay the child support every month, and that is what pays for their clothes, swimming lessons and school trips. I have taken out a bicycle subscription for them myself. That means they always have a bike that fits their height, and if something breaks, it gets repaired. Of course it’s cheaper when you buy used bikes, but I like that they have a nice bike on which they can go to school.
“With my current girlfriend I have a third child a few months ago and that of course also costs a lot. For example, I recently bought a new car, because my previous car was really too small for a family of five. My new car is a bit more spacious, but it is still a hassle with all those seats in the backseat. In the long run, I think we need to go a little bit bigger.
“I participate in the Staatsloterij every month and I always win a tenner or something. Of course we have to wait for that big price, so that we can buy a house. Ideally it will be a nice farm with some animals near Castricum, where we now live, because the mother of my eldest two also lives there. We would also like to go to Italy, but that might be something for later.”
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of June 21, 2021