Last weekend, my husband an I were in NYC. We were guests at the ‘Peter Stuyvesant Ball’ at the Plaza Hotel. This felt as a real ‘old boys’ network party from the ‘old’ economy.
I was invited here as ‘Business Woman of the Year’ and it appeared that I was one of the few hard-working female attending the ball. Remarkable when considering diversity in the broadest sense of the word. As an example, during the ball I was skipped by the lottery ticket sellers for charity, perhaps because I’m a woman? It could be a coincidence, although I seriously doubt that. Luckily I already made a donation previous to the ball, via electronic banking.
We were staying in New York, near SoHo, a place where there is a different atmosphere altogether. Clearly new economy with a creative and liberal vibe. It feels good to see two men kiss passionately in public in a lounge. Fortunately, this is also possible in the USA!
We went to the ball, completely in style, in a black SUV we arranged via UBER. We are quite done with the yellow cab, since the cars are often decrepit, the drivers are capricious, restless and they drive dangerously. In such taxis it sometimes feels as if you are in a fairground attraction while putting your life in danger. Our UBER driver was a woman called Sala, an Egyptian woman with the most beautiful eyes. Eyes seeming to come straight from the Old Egypt. Sala was a lovely, captivating woman who brought us to the ball during rush hour, whilst listening to loud, kitschy American Christmas music. Despite being Muslim, this music took her away from the illusion of the day.
Life in NYC is good, she told us, since everyone is only focussed on his or her own life. No time to worry about everyone else’s. This could be typically Dutch.
Sala is a single mom of three young adult children. She has to work seven days a week, twelve hours a day to allow her kids to go to college. She does so with a smile. A real workaholic who hasn’t got a choice.
In the Netherlands women always talk about the balance between work and private life. Often the balance tilts towards private life, if you ask me, and the ambition of the Dutch woman is let go fairly easily. Apparently that is possible and is it a problem of luxury. Possibly female ambition and balance do not go together? As far as I am concerned these women are pampered women instead of hard-working women. Something to take into consideration ladies?