From New York to Lausanne
Every Sunday I went to New York, there was so much to see and to do. And yes of course I went high up the Empire State Building where one has such a magnificent view over the big town of skyscrapers, really fantastic. I visited the Statue of Liberty with a special boat, also from the sea New York looks very impressive.
I walked through China Town, though the Italian quarter where I often went to an Italian restaurant, through the German quarter where I found a very good hairdresser.
I started my Sundays at the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in the Fifth Avenue. There was so much to see in New York, I didn’t have enough time to see it all. But I once paid quite some money to listen to a concert in the Carnegie Hall, it is true, the acoustics of the Carnegie Hall is more than beautiful.
I also took a walk through a part of Harlem, the train stopped at the 125th street, from where I walked around a little. People had told me that it was too dangerous to walk there all by myself as a white woman, since it was an Afro suburb. But nobody even looked at me. I bought some chocolates and took the train to Manhattan. I have been walking several times through the famous Central Park, very nice indeed.
The difference between rich and poor in America shocked me.
Just before the winter in 1966, the family I worked for, moved to Scarsdale, a very rich and beautiful place. The house was really beautiful, and I too received a lovely room.
Yet I missed Spring Valley, the lovely Swimming pool too, but then of course it was Winter when we moved.
I was more than surprised about the Winters in New York, and in Scarsdale of course, it was really so bitterly cold. People advised me to move to San Francisco, that would be a better place for me to live. I thought it over, but I decided that it would be a lot better to go back to Europe instead.
I planned to make a simple cruise to Brasil, that was not expensive with my dollars and then go to Holland by boat, not from New York but from Canada, so that I could go by train to Canada and stay there maybe two days before going to back Holland.
In January 1967 I fell ill, I suffered from nettle rash (urticaria) all over my body, after a week I had to see a doctor. He gave me some medicine that didn’t help enough, so I had to go back. But since those visits were very expensive, I had to visit the White Plains Central Hospital and as from then on I had to go there every two weeks to receive my Cortisone tablets, for I couldn’t live without them anymore.
Now I could only safe money to go back to Europe, no cruise to Brasil, no train to Canada. But luck was with me this time, I could go to Lausanne in Switzerland, a friend was going to help me to get an apartment and a job in Lausanne.
And so this time I had the chance to learn French and live in one of the most peaceful and most beautiful parts in Europe.
I began to book my journey back to Europe, and to my great joy could I get a place on the s.s. Rotterdam from the Holland-America Line in the beginning of September 1967.
I also booked my train from Le Havre in France to Lausanne in Switzerland.
The “Rotterdam” would go to Southampton, to Le Havre and then to the Rotterdam harbour, but I didn’t go to Holland, I went straight to Switzerland.
This beautiful journey was like a cruise, there was a swimming-pool, a cinema, and we were spoiled right through the day. The sea was calm and absolutely beautiful, I saw quite some seagulls and once I saw a few dolphins not too far from our ship.
I shared a cabin with three very nice Canadian girls they were going to Rotterdam and from there to Amsterdam. They asked me many questions about Holland.
This journey was a real vacation for me, it was only for one week, but I was very pleased that I had decided to go by boat and not by plane.
In Le Havre, a typical harbour town, I found my train to Dijon, as from there I had to take my train to Lausanne. I had a seat near the window, so I enjoyed my journey through France.
It was nice to be back home again.
Empire State Building
The s.s. Rotterdam