Excerpt from ‘Nabelichting’, Chapter 20, The Palace
The only way our romance could develop was slowly. Irah went to Tokyo, I had to go to Miami. A whole week together in Amsterdam was great, but she left for Hong Kong while I went to the south of France. We spent two days in Lissabon and then again we didn’t see each other for weeks. Sometimes, when we were lucky, we were able to work together. Like in Zimbabwe, where we saw hippos and zebras near the Victoria Falls or in Canada where they served fresh lobster with almost every dish. We went to Thailand and stayed at the Hua Hin Railway Hotel with their magical rabbit and deer-like shaped trees. We did a catalogue job in Guatamala followed by a trip to Vieques, a paradise fairly unknown to tourists, right after a quick visit to Capri.
After two years we rented an apartment in Paris, to be together more often. We lived in the ‘Marais’, just around the corner of the ‘Musée Picasso’ and were regulars at ‘Chez Omar’, who served the best couscous in the world and where it felt like being home.