It’s a Small BIG World After All

Bucket List

It’s a Small BIG World After All

Have you ever run into a someone somewhere that you never would have expected? The first bucket list item that I can cross off comes with a story that spans more than 1042 kilometers.

During my childhood, I always went to the same camping on holidays. Year after year Camping Solmar in Blanes was where you would find me. I had the most wonderful times there. If you are somewhat into camping, I think you’ll agree that you can find Dutch people everywhere. All over Europe you will see Dutch people traveling with their caravans or mobile homes.

It is way harder to find Belgian people camping because they usually need/want the comfort and luxury of an all-inclusive experience. That’s why it was so remarkable to meet 4 other Belgian families who were always staying on the same site, especially in Blanes, so far from home.

Entrance Camping Solmar

My most favorite entrance ever!

We automatically bonded with the other families and got to know each other well. It wasn’t long before we started doing things together. We even found out that we’d all just met Jean-Marie Pfaff’s sister. For who doesn’t know Jean-Marie, he was one of Belgium’s best football keepers ever. He was also a hot topic back then because he had a reality show on TV with his family.

DVD Cover ‘De Pfaffs’

However, Anne the sister that we’d met was hardly ever in the show. That’s why we didn’t know who she was at first. She also didn’t brag, which I thought was really cool. As a kid I always looked up to famous people. Since she’s the sister of someone famous, I almost interacted differently with her than I normally would. I’m glad that didn’t happen because she was so humble and down-to-earth. We met up with her at camp a few other years, until we stopped going to Spain due to the economic crisis.

Time flew by and 3 years later I was at a party. The theme was “Flight 90” and a special guest was expected to arrive. When he arrived, half the room went to see him, but I kept on dancing. It’s not my thing to wait an hour for an autograph or picture. I rather like it when things happen spontaneously. If something is meant to be, it will happen.

I didn’t even know who the special guest was until my friends came back with their selfie. As you already probably guessed, it was Jean-Marie Pfaff. I figured I probably wouldn’t get to meet him since special guests usually don’t stay for the whole party. I was fine with that thought.

So I continued partying, until an hour later when I urgently needed to take a leak. I was so drunk that I got lost searching for the toilet. After I finally reached the toilet, I got lost again returning to the party. Yeah, being dumber than my usual drunk self is hard to beat!!

I found myself stumbling into the room where he was. Without realizing the session had already ended, I stood next to Jean-Marie. I smiled for a photo the best I could, but nothing happened. I smiled even more and then I realized the photographer had already packed everything up and was about to leave. There was no one waiting in line anymore as well.

Since I’d already made a fool of myself, I began making small talk with Jean-Marie. He probably wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible, but he was polite and talked back. I told him how I’d met his sister and he seemed really interested and even a bit surprised. Meanwhile the photographer unpacked his gear to take his last picture of the night. I did my best to flash the soberest smile I could. As there are already enough crazy pictures taken of me.

Jean-Marie Pfaff & Jonas Van Wezemael

After our photo was taken, we conversed a little longer and both concluded that it is indeed a small big world after all . . .

 

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