Whenever you register or apply for something in Turkey, you have to mention your father’s name. Last name – in my case Geerdink – not necessary, first name – Henk – will do. Like last year, when my foot was broken and I had to go to the hospital a few times. I registered once, and every time I came back and mentioned my name to the secretary, she would put my name in the computer and ask a second later: ‘Father’s name Henk?’. I replied ‘yes’ and then she knew it was really me. Now Henk is on the back of the press card I received this week – hurray. A colleague of mine said that it’s nice, because somehow it makes you feel daddy is always looking over your shoulder to protect you. She said: ‘It reminds me of my father when I was a teenager and I would go somewhere without my parents, and he wanted to warn me not to behave badly. He would say: ‘Remember, you are a Beyers’. My father said something like that too, and sometimes still does. Not to warn me, luckily, but to encourage me: ‘Show them you’re a Geerdink’, he would say. So that’s what I will think of now, every time I look at the back of my press card and see: Father’s name: Henk.
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