“I was born in Cambodia. Via a few detours I arrived in the Netherlands when I was eleven. We had left just before Pol Pot’s horrific regime of terror began. My father was originally from Somalia and had been a successful businessman in Cambodia. Under Pol Pot’s regime all foreigners and intellectuals were exiled and so we left for my father’s homeland, Somalia. I lived there from my fifth year to my tenth. From a Buddhist culture I arrived into a Muslim one. That took some getting used to. At one point it became very unsafe to live there and we moved to Milan where one of my sisters had married an Italian. We then moved to Brussels where a brother lived. Finally, when I was eleven, we arrived in the Netherlands where another sister lived with her Dutch husband. She had told my mother, “Come to Holland, mum, with the boys”. And so we arrived in Leiden. Yet another language I had to learn. I now speak a lot of them. From Vietnamese to Italian, English, French and Dutch.