Dutch Business Lunch.

14 februari 2013

Febuary 2013
On a  wall in the Dutch consulate in Durban hangs a poster. It is introducing the monthly Dutch Business Lunch. I write down the contact details on a slip of paper. Living in Durban I did not realise more Dutchman and women are living here. I never met one in all the 17 years I have been doing projects in KwaZulu Natal. What business would they discuss during lunch ? Working in the art I am shy to meet business people. For them arts is mostly unnecessary, a left wing hobby. So probably I would not be invited at all for their lunch, I forget about them yet after a month I find back the slip of paper with the contact details when I clean the kitchen, it slipped under the fridge. I write a short mail and to my surprise within an hour I get a reply,  I am very welcome next month for the lunch in a  small town outsideDurban. The day before my first Dutch Business Lunch ever, I get a reminder. Now I am getting nervous, they might think I am doing big Business. Maybe they are confused by my surname, my father was a captain of industry, but I did not make him proud, I did not even follow in his footsteps. I dress up in my best suit and drive to Westville somewhere in the green mountains aroundDurban. When I find the little restaurant and enter, I think I am probably in the wrong venue. The restaurant is almost empty, only in the back a group of man are very informal and loudly, enjoying themselves,  drinking a cold beer.  I think about leaving, someone is calling my name. I go back, realising this is the Dutch Business Lunch. It is a group of 15 man between 50 and 90 years old, welcoming me warmly. The next hour no business is discussed. A lot of stories are told about the old day’s and about new HIV/AIDS projects inSwaziland. About a website that has all the music presentations from Jazz in KZN. Some of them are retired tycoons, living in SA for more than 60 years they are not bitter and love the country. When I leave they have one more question for me: Is premier Rutte really such a big  a liar?