Short Flash Proses  by Hannie Rouweler

Short Flash Proses  by Hannie Rouweler


My mom moved to Hawaii

One day my mother had enough of everything, she was already 70 years old and no longer the youngest. She wanted to get away, this town, she just wanted to leave. “I’ve had enough of the world,” she repeated over and over. I was a bit surprised, because I thought she had settled in the meantime, satisfied with her downstairs house, a small apartment with a beautiful garden, terrace in front, tree with hanging branches and a large public lawn.
But one day she let me know she was ready for something else. Even worse was that it would not be an ordinary move, but departure from this city, a quiet sleeping city, with little traffic and problems. I had always thought it might be a nice place for her to live now that she’s a senior. Especially since she was so close to my children. She even made regular efforts to pick up the children from nursery and kindergarten when they were little. She beamed when I picked up the kids again at the end of my workday.

“I’m going to Hawaii,” she said. It was as if a flash of lightning suddenly appeared in a clear sky. Everything I expected except that! “Although it is an American state, it is a long way from the mainland. An island, with a beautiful natural beauty, full of variety. Pleasant climate even though many tourists come every year. But I will find something in a remote area. I can also get my pension there, just from the bank. I’ll rent a place.”

Ever since then I have received e-mails with photos almost every day. My mom in bikini at the feet of volcano area. My mom with a bag full of groceries at a supermarket, next to which rows of palm trees. My mom in mini skirt with brown legs and sandals, visiting her neighbours. My mom throwing a kiss to me in the photo, while she is standing in the middle of the surf of the sea with surfers in the background. My mom on the beach writing I miss you in sand. My mother. Aloha.


Salad bars in Boston

You only know that there are so many salad bars in Boston if you’ve been there. Otherwise you will miss such detail about a city. The same goes for a fish market. If you have visited the fish market in Boston, you will never forget it, you will forget the fish auction in IJmuiden and the covered fish market in Ostend.

Every day I visited a salad bar. It was the middle of winter, so I wore a thick coat with hat and shawl to survive the cold, sometimes minus 20 or 25 degrees C. It was two healthy weeks, I can’t say otherwise.

At the time, I was staying with a man, a health freak who could convince me every day that fast food really was one of the worst inventions and customs in the USA, such as burgers. I didn’t get a hot meal in Cambridge, where he lived, right next to Boston in a nice neighbourhood. I only ate salads and bread, sandwiches. Because coffee was not drinkable, like everywhere else in the country, he had brought Swedish coffee home especially for me. In short: I can say that I had a good and interesting period, also culinary.

He taught at the famous Cambridge University in Boston, so he took me to college once. Buildings full of students and also a large building where the administrative part was housed, in rooms with long corridors. I can only say that I have wonderful memories of that particular time.


Saladebars in Boston

Dat er zovele saladebars in Boston bestaan weet je alleen als je er geweest bent. Anders ontgaat je zulk detail over een stad. Hetzelfde geldt voor een vismarkt. Als je de vismarkt in Boston hebt bezocht vergeet je die ook nooit, je vergeet de visafslag in IJmuiden en overdekte vismarkt in Oostende.

Elke dag heb ik een saladbar bezocht. Het was hartje winter, dus ik droeg een dikke jas met muts en shawl om de koude te overleven van soms minus 20 of 25 graden C. Het waren twee gezonde weken, ik kan niet anders zeggen.

Ik verbleef in die tijd bij een man, een gezondheidsfreak die mij elke dag kon overtuigen van het feit dat fastfood toch echt wel hoorde tot de slechtste uitvindingen en gebruiken in de USA, zoals hamburgers. Warme maaltijd kreeg ik niet in Cambridge, waar hij woonde, vlak tegen Boston aan in een fraaie wijk. Ik heb alleen maar salades gegeten en brood, tosti’s. Omdat de koffie niet te drinken was, zoals overal elders in het land, had hij speciaal voor mij Zweedse koffie in huis gehaald. Kortom: ik kan zeggen dat ik een goede en interessante periode heb beleefd, ook culinair.

Hij was docent aan de beroemde Cambridge Universiteit in Boston, waardoor hij mij een keer meenam naar de universiteit. Gebouwen vol met studenten en ook een groot gebouw waar het administratieve deel was ondergebracht, in kamers met lange gangen. Ik kan niet anders zeggen dan dat ik toffe herinneringen eraan heb.


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