Saturday, October 24, 2009

Me and Dorthe in Trinidad.











Surrealist Art.


Yesterdays visit and post brought back other memories of 1997.

Later on after Richie moved back in March 1997, Dort he seemed to have stopped trying to steer my life.

Thought at the time that she had finally understood that she must not meddle with other peoples lives.

Later on in the year she came to me with her plan, she wanted to visit the Caribbean, she knew that I was in touch with my cousins in Trinidad.

They wanted me to visit and I found this a very exciting idea if a little bit scary too as it was so long since 1962 when we had left.

Dort he’s suggestion was that she pay for my ticket, if she could come out with me, that way she would get her Caribbean holiday and I would see my cousins and Trinidad again.

I let her persuade me that this was a good idea, and my cousins were delighted so the tickets were booked and paid for.

Dorthe was told how important this visit was to me, by myself, Richie and other friends and she kept saying she would be on her best behaviour.

She also promised that as she had a credit card, should I need it she could pay with her card and I could pay her back when we were back in Amsterdam.

We flew out in November 1997 for three weeks and stayed with my cousin Aileen in San Fernando.

It was amazing being back in Trinidad again, sadly Dorthe did not keep her word, and she was very difficult the whole time.

Afterwards I wish I had not done my best to avoid arguing with her, but had not wanted to spoil the atmosphere.

But that I guess was already badly compromised by Dorthe herself, she never once managed to show pleasure or say thanks once.

Very strange way of behaving, most people would be doing their best to let their hosts know that they were enjoying their stay.

She never did that, my cousins and their families were puzzled by Dorthe, I told them repeatedly that Dorthe's English was not very good.

Hoped this would explain things for them.

On the day we left Aileen and her lovely daughter Susan Christine drove us to the airport and bought coffee and sandwiches and cakes.

We sat and ate and talked before we had to go through to the Departure Lounge, we said our goodbyes, me in tears.

Heard Aileen saying ' Ah I see you are enjoying yourself' she always says this when people cry, while giving you a box of tissues.

Dorthe and I went to the Departure Lounge and right away she told me several things about Susan-Christine, Aileen's daughter that I did not know.

Before I could ask how come she knew she told me with a grin that she had read her diaries.

So that is what she had been doing every afternoon when she had been having her afternoon siestas.

She had not been sleeping she had been looking through the young woman's things, I was so angry with Dorthe.

Also for telling me now, luckily we had to move from our seats in the front row of the small plane, which was needed for mail and bottles of coca cola for Tobago.

We were seated at the rear of the plane, after the first landing Dorthe returned to the front, but I stayed in the rear of the plane.

I was only too happy to have nothing to do with her until we boarded the plane home in Barbados.

That gave me a couple of hours to regain my composure after the news Dorthe had read Susan-Christine diaries.

It seemed to work and in Barbados we had to sit together in the seats reserved for us.

I had decided that when we got back to Amsterdam I would not seek Dorthe out and instead would let the friendship go.

Could not be friends with Dorthe not after she had been so rude all through the visit and never said thank you once.

My cousin Aileen and her husband Philip and their kids had given us a brilliant visit.

We had been taken all over the Island, had been to a wonderful street party, been down the Islands and to the beach, visited Port of Spain.

It was an incredible time, we had eaten out regularly in top restaurants, all paid for by my cousins.

Dorthe had also refused to pay for things like cricket books and magazines for Richie, which I had wanted to bring back for him.

It was really dreadful that each time that I asked for financial help she would quiz me as to what the money was for and then refuse.

So deciding that once we were home in Amsterdam I would let the friendship go, this made it easy to sit next to her on the flight home.

Even then right at the end when we had come through baggage check and customs and I was waiting to see Richie, she tried to sow seeds of distrust.

She told me several times that seeing as I had such bad luck with men I should not expect to see Richie, as he was surely long gone.

Then just as it seemed he was not coming, Richie and Anja appeared and I blurted out to Richie ' oh wasn't sure you would be here' and Dorthe left right away for her train.

So well had she got to me just before Richie and Anja had arrived.

I burst into tears and Richie who had realised that Dorthe had got to me gave me
a bunch of flowers and said welcome home.

As it turned out I did not have to do anything, as the book saga finally terminated our friendship.

Dorthe promised me a C.L.R James book she had bought in Trinidad and did not want to read, she started to promise the book in February but 3 times she came round she forgot the book.

She promised I would get the book at my Birthday drink down at Cafe SAS on the Marnixstraat.

Again she forgot and eventually on Good Friday 1998 she phoned to say she was working in the bookshop and could I come down and fetch the book.

I went and we had coffee and she passed me the book and I started to remove the book markers.

She queried this and when I said that I was removing the markers now the book was mine she laughed and said ´give you the book, don’t be silly I am only lending it to you.

I nearly swore at her but decided not to and to leave quietly, which I did saying I am going before I let myself go.

This seemed to trigger an attack of rage in Dorthe; she started screaming abuse at me.

The customers in the shop looked on startled as she followed me through the shop screaming obscenities while I said nothing at all.

I cycled home very quickly and told Richie what had happened and said I wanted to phone and scream abuse at Dorthe but would not do this.

A week later just when I nearly called her I got a letter which started off by saying ´´Who do you think you are´´.

Got Riche to read the rest and he did and said it got worse and I decided to throw it away and never got in touch again.

A year later I got a call from someone whose voice I did not recognise, the voice told me that Matauk´s Trinidadian pepper sauce was available on the Albert Cuyp market.

When I asked who it was I heard it was Dorthe and when I asked why she was phoning me now.

She told me it was because she had decided to forgive me, when I said nothing she asked me why I said nothing.

I responded that I had nothing to say, and if I did I knew where to find her and became silent again and after a few minutes of silence Dorthe hung up and we have never spoken again.

This was in 1999 and I have never missed her once in all that time.


7 comments:

Rain said...

Your story really hits home for me Herrad. My younger sister ruined my vacation to PEI actually, in 2002. She was difficult 50% of the time, and basically a blind/deaf/mute the other 50%, I did all the driving and organizing and she'd sit there in tense silence for the hours on the road. When I disowned the family, I had no regrets either because people like that are toxic. They try as best they can to pull you into their misery, because you know the old saying "misery loves company" right? But I realized lately that everyone has a lesson to teach us, even if it's in a terribly hurtful way. Once I learn those lessons, I can let go of the anger and hurt and move on! People like that need to hit rock bottom before they'll even attempt to be happy. And what gall she had to say she "forgave you"....what a fool! Good for you for letting her go. Ick...I hate drama!!!
:-)

Stephany said...

Hi Herrad,

I had a friend visit me the same way in 1992. Had known her since age 18. I paid for everything, even a ferry crossing and hotel in Canada, food, all of it. Bought an expensive whole fresh salmon for travel back to her husband for her to carry on the plane. Not a thanks, not a penny offered, and the rudeness was unbearable. I've never seen her again either.

True colors come through when traveling with people i guess!

Diane J Standiford said...

Hits home for me too. Friends can be so cruel, so clueless, I have finally learned to say good bye sooner rather than later.

Herrad said...

Hi Rain,
Thanks for coming by and sharing your memories.
Your sister sounds awful, not surprised you have disowned your family.
You/we do not need people like that around us.
Dorthe sounds awful to me now too, She always said I was like a sister to her.
I am amazed now, that I agreed to Dorthe's Trinidad plan.

Hi Stephany,
Thanks for your visit and sharing your story, your friend was extremely rude to you.
What a disappointment her visit must have been for you.
Especially since you knew each other so long.
And that is how she treated you
Can't believe how long I let Dorthe treat me badly.

Hi Diane,
Thanks for coming by and thanks for reminding me that it is better to be proactive.
Think we all tend to allow friends some leeway.
But when is it leeway and when is it carte blanche to do whatever they want to do.

Really appreciate you all coming by and sharing your memories.
I guess it is difficult to be a good friend, for yourself as much as your friends.
Have to try to remember that its not being nice to allow someone to do whatever they want with no care for your feelings.
I met Dorthe and became friends in 1985, somehow making allowances was seen as being a pushover by her.
Think she must have been stunned that I did not stay and argue with her in the shop and I never contacted her and I do not think I ever will.
If I had missed her I might have been in touch.
Have a good day today.
Love,
Herrad

Amrita said...

Oh my goodness what a woman!

She certainly was not a friend. You were very patient with her.
Glad she is gone from your life.

Lucy said...

I wonder why friends or should I say (so called friends) do this to us. I have had a few "friends" like that. Now at my age my fiends are mostly bloggers since my family and most of my friends are deceased. That even back fired with one blogger friend but that is the only one so I feel fortunate. I feel I can not be to bad. Have a great day.

Herrad said...

Hi Amrita,
Thanks for coming by and thanks for your comment.
Also for pointing out how patient I was with Dorthe.
I kept thinking surely she did not mean that, until I had to accept that she did.
We are both glad she is gone from our lives.

Hi Lucy,
Thanks for coming by and commenting, yes it is odd how people who say they care can be negligent of our feelings.
Shame as they lose out, don't they.

Thanks both of you for coming by and leaving a comment, it is appreciated.
Hope you have/had a good day today.
Love,
Herrad