Janine, my best friend since MULO school in Suriname, finally came to New York a few weeks ago.
I was in all states and rejoiced rowdy because I just knew it would be intensely fun again as usual. Even if it was only for two nights. She came for a workshop and would stay with me on the way back.
Although she has a sister in Florida, Janine couldn't really imagine what my life would be like right now. Partly my fault as I often answer her questions a bit vaguely and sometimes a bit cynically. A kind of learned automatism because I assume that it is incomprehensible or maybe I am too aware of my lack of ability to explain it well. Anyway, now that she came she could see and experience it herself.
The weather hadn't struck her, and in her heavy borrowed winter coat, she was waiting for me in the grand hall of Grand Central Station. A kind of central station so to speak, but much larger. She loved the large well-lit marble hall and was immediately impressed by the grandeur of New York. To make a good start, we first went home with her two small, but quite heavy suitcases. Then we could have a nice dinner.
Several restaurants were on the agenda because Janine loves good food. She is a very good cook herself. Her favorite cuisine varies and when she is outside Suriname she wants to try everything that is not common in Suriname, as if to gain inspiration for new recipes. I took her to Wild Ginger. A trendy chic restaurant in Hoboken with a fusion cuisine of Asian dishes. That worked out well because Janine wanted Sushi. She was very much in her element with a combination of Salmon, Tuna and Eel rolls. This agenda item could be regarded as very successful.
The way back home was a bit less as this was a brisk half hour walk. Personally, I always like to go for a walk after dinner, but Janine is a luxurious lady who is not fond of that. Besides that it was quite cold, about 8 degrees, there was also a strong wind. That poor woman, I thought, all the way from the nice warm Suriname is walking around here in the cold, will she disinherit me as a friend? But she went on smoothly and once we got home we chatted until two o'clock in the morning. I'm sure she'll laugh when she reads my mind afterwards.
The next day, shopping was on the agenda. The very first thing she wanted to go to were her shops. My bosom friend has been relaxing her hair ever since I've known her and I've never tried to persuade her to stop. Conversely, she never persuaded me to relax either. Janine has always been into bags and now that she was here all types and types wanted to see her. That worked out well, but the offer did not make the choice any easier. You can pick up a great Prada or Gucci bag in China Town for $35, if you know what you want. Otherwise you will be busy for hours. We then went to Macy's for an extensive makeup session and that was that. Before we knew it, the day was over and it was dinner time again.
This time I took her to my favorite Japanese in Manhattan. I never remember the name but it's on 9th Street between Second and Third Avenue. Although it is Japanese I always go here for the Korean BBQ. Not only is the food delicious, you can also sit here wonderfully and comfortably in the Japanese way. While enjoying Sushi and Bulgogi we chatted as usual. When we were 14 years old, our parents didn't understand what we had to say to each other if we had just seen and talked to each other at school the same day. More than 20 years later, not much has changed. Although we live in separate continents, we remain best friends.
We went to Christ the King School together but she went to the Lyceum, I to the AMS. In the Netherlands she studied in Eindhoven, I in Amsterdam. Always kept in touch and of course we were at each other's graduations.