Last Sunday we decided to skip church and go see a swami instead. Skipping church, when your house is attached to a church, is no easy feat for an x-Catholic. Because even though I am an independent adult, that stereotypical guilt pops up like a self-flagellating nun on my shoulder, honing in on my every action. Do you hear those people working in the church to prep the Sunday service? You’re not even out of bed yet. The bells are ringing, announcing the gathering of Christians and you’re in the shower, naked! Are you seriously going to let your son watch TV on a Sunday morning?
So when our front doorbell rang, I had the irrational thought of someone from the church checking to see what the delay was all about. They wouldn’t actually do that, would they? But then I heard a strangely familiar voice, though I couldn’t place it.
“Kristin. Come downstairs and see who’s here!” Arie Jan called in a tone that communicated both disbelief and excitement. I finished putting my clothes on, towel dried my hair as quickly as possible and headed down the stairs. There, sitting on my couch–my couch in Den Haag, Netherlands, mind you–was Dave Prine.
“Oh My God! Oh my God!” I said, as I went to hug him, “I seriously can’t even believe you’re sitting here!”
You know how people start saying trite things like “I’ve never tasted anything so delicious in my life!” and you know they said that the last time you saw them about some raspberry jam that a friend made, and now the-most-delicious-thing-they’ve-ever-tasted- in-their-life is the codfish special on the menu. They begin to lose credibility, unless they’re say, 11 years old, and it really is the best thing they’ve ever tasted.
But there I was, far more seasoned than an 11 year old, and I have to say, I’ve never been so surprised in my entire life. But then again, this is Dave Prine we’re talking about. I soon adjusted my story.
“Of course you’re here in my house Dave. Who else would it be?” Who else would hop on a plane to Istanbul at the last minute to assist a friend with her filming session, take a last minute excursion to Amsterdam on a Saturday night in the summer without a hotel reservation, then on Sunday morning decide to hop on another train for an hour ride to Den Haag on the off chance that we’ll be home in the 1 hour and 49 minute window he has to visit us before he has to return to Amsterdam and then go onto Frankfurt? For you to understand why this makes perfect sense, you’d have to know a little about Dave.
Dave Prine, who is originally from Chicago, has lived in Santa Barbara for the last 11 years and is the type of friend you hope for–someone who is incredibly spontaneous, who can make you laugh yourself to tears, someone who can be incredibly loyal, a talented musician, an enjoyable date for an outing, the type of friend that remembers to call you on your birthday. But what is more amazing about Dave is his wanderlust and his talent for languages.
More than once I’ve been with Dave Prine when he meets someone from some foreign land, like Laos, for example, and rattles off a sentence in Laotian, much to the exasperation and delight of the foreigner who has probably never had such an encounter with an American. His home is filled with language books from every corner of the earth, and he is a talented travel writer.
Not only has he traveled all over the world, but he has a knack for actually keeping in touch with perhaps 90 percent of the people he’s met, and has shared stories over the years of showing up on people’s doorsteps.
“I’ve been Prined!” I finally said. May you too be Prined some day.
Up Next: Going to see the Swami