Monday, November 08, 2004

Mevrouw Boeke

Mevrow Boeke (pronounced Booker) is one of the many woman who have a slight hunch back - probably more osteoperosis, but I don't know. There's another woman with the same condition who is constantly looking down, because it's such an effort to hold her head up. Mevrouw Boeke has a strange way of standing when she talks. She smiles and holds her hand under her chin then whole time, very casually. It took me a month or so to realize that she was actually holding her head up, otherwise it sinks down. It's like the muscles won't work anymore.

If she only has to look up for a moment, she will tilt her whole body back. But for longer conversations about the soup and such, she holds her head up.

Her main concern is that the soup is "echt vegitarisch," really vegetarian, or made with chicken or beef stock. For a while they were just taking the meatballs out of the soup and calling it vegetarian. Lately, they've been serving her some very nice looking meals. She looked at something we served recently and said, in Dutch, "What is this? Is it beef?" I told her it was "soja," surprising myself by pulling the Dutch word for tofu out of the recesses of my mind.

She's always very grateful for the extra attention as I think she realizes that she's sort of a pain in the neck - no pun intended.

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