28 July 2006
It happened I have to provide a lunch for strangers. If you had told me 1 year ago, that I had to cook a meal for 8 English-speaking strangers … I would have pointed to your forehead.
You must know that I was the kind of child with serious plans for arson when I had to give a talk in front of the class. A talk was equal to death and burning down the school was a possible solution. Not a long-term solution, I know … but yet less myopic than childishly staying at home with stomach aches. In my opinion. I only needed to get stoked by the wrong friends, but unfortunately I was only an attraction for fathomless good children.
So, this voluntary lunch, we safely can regard as a Personal Breakthrough!
Over here (and probably in a lot of other countries than the netherlands) it’s customary that guests bring something to eat to a dining or luch appointment. But, it seems to be a kind of unwritten prohibition to ask the host what makes sense to bring … If a guest asks, of course the host will say: “Oh nooo, you don’t need to bring anything, your company is enough!” So nobody asks anything and the host can’t advice anything. In the Netherlands most people bring flowers or wine and the host determined what’s on the menu. That’s another form of ‘easy’.
The evening before, at the checkout in the supermarket, we were waiting behind two older teenage girls that have been bathed and already wore their immaculate pink flannel pyjamas. Nevertheless, in a warmer country like this, that looked slightly less weird than in a cold country. You just come bare feet to pick up some chips for later in front of the TV … It also seems less strange because there are enormous palm trees at the exit of the supermarket that (in our Dutch eyes) gives the “outside world” something living-room-ish. You know … we are coming from a land of houseplants.
I had made a big pan of spaghetti and a nice filled salad and cheese sandwiches, but one of the guests puts a large pot of rice in my kitchen. And a bag of 10 limes, a box of chopped vegetables and a coriander plant on my counter. I didnt know what to do with it. Dinner was ready at that time and there was more than enough food. I even had no room on the table anymore. So I’ve thrown the limes in my fruit bowl and put the vegetables in the fridge …
After the lunch the coriander plant was taken again, so now it feels like I have ‘stolen’ the limes and the veggies. I don’t understand these impractical ‘rules’. I do not know … I think bringing useless flowers is still yet more convenient. Or just a simple consultation with all the concerned persons.