I spent a year and a half in the Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During that time I did a bit of searching on Dutch culture and history — this was before I visited the Netherlands.
One of the things I excitedly learned was that there was a statue of William the Silent in the Hague. I didn’t really understand why his finger pointed to the Binnenhof at one time (or, more accurately, what the Binnenhof was) but I thought it was an interesting bit of trivia.
But I had seen a similar statue at the College Avenue campus… one that points in a seemingly random direction. Upon further digging I realized that there was a replica of the Hague statue placed at Rutgers University, due to the University being founded by Dutch ministers back in 1766.
I kept the secret for a month, telling my then-boyfriend that I had a surprise to show to him when he was in the country again. I remember dragging him to the statue, refusing to tell him what I was going to show him, and the look on his face when he realized what it was.
Half a world away, but so close without my realizing.