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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

How I met Lu Lu

A Dutch Indonesian friend of mine was getting married to an American girl. I was invited to his wedding. Before I went to the wedding I had stopped at several bars with a friend of mine. When I arrived at the wedding reception the bride and groom and all their friends were already in the ballroom. I had a few drinks too many but I kept myself well balanced. After congratulating my friend and his wife and some of the family I walked around the dance floor and spotted this oriental lady sitting by herself. I said to my friend I have to find out who she is. She had very nice long black hair and I was always attracted to a woman who had dark hair. When I got to her table I asked her who she was and where she came from. She said that her name was Lu Lu and that she came from Burma. Lu Lu told me that she had seen me before with some girls. I told her that I dated a lot but didn't have a steady girlfriend. I asked Lu Lu if she would like to go out with me for a date one day. So we exchanged phone numbers and I told her that I would call her. What I didn't know at that time, by meeting Lu. Lu at that wedding, a big change was going to happen in my life.

Lu Lu was the first oriental woman I ever dated. She was so different from the women I dated before. Lu Lu was very kind, honest and sincere. She was very straightforward in whatever she talked about. She had a very nice personality and people liked her right away.

When Lu Lu lived in Burma she had worked for many diplomatic families as a nanny. In 1957 Lu Lu met an American diplomatic family who lived in Burma for five years and were going back to America. They wanted a Karen nanny in their house in America, and Lu Lu applied for the job to stay for a few years in their country. When I first dated Lu Lu I never thought it would last for very long as I was still dating other girls. When I told Lu Lu sometimes that I couldn't pick her up on a certain day because I had a date with one of my other friends, Lu Lu couldn't understand. She wasn't used to the way I lived. Most of the time, I dated Lu Lu on weekends. That was the only time she was free. She was always very happy when I took her out on the weekends. I noticed that whenever I took Lu Lu to my friends, she would never go empty handed into their homes. She always had a present or bought some kind of groceries for them.

Lu Lu had never seen any night clubs, and I took her all along where I always hung around at night time. Even though I dated Lu Lu, that didn't get me off my bad drinking habits. One night I picked up Lu Lu and we drove to a friend of mine. I was already drinking when I arrived at Lu Lu's house. When we arrived at my friend's house I had more to drink. He lived outside the city of Syracuse in a small town. As we left his house that night it was real cold and raining, and I drove my car 55 miles an hour where the speed limit said 25 miles an hour. It was a small town and there wasn't any traffic on the road at all. Before I knew it I saw a red flashing car following. I pulled over because I knew it was a police car. As I rolled down the window the police-man asked for my driver's license. When I rolled down the window the heat of the car came out, and the police-man could smell my breath. The police-man said that I was speeding and you also are drinking. I said, yes sir I am. The police-man said to me, "what am I going to do with you?" I said to the police-man, "make up your mind, you want me or my car". When I was drinking I couldn't care less about anything. Lu Lu was very scared the way I talked to the police-man and started to sweet talk with the police man. To my surprise the police-man said, "you better make up your mind, and drive home slowly". That night, if Lu Lu had not been in my car I would have had a ticket for speeding and drinking, and she knows, I could have spent the night in jail.

One weekend I took Lu Lu way out in the country to a square dance. When Lu Lu and I walked in everybody stared at Lu Lu. When I first met Lu Lu she always dressed in her native clothes. At the dance floor Lu Lu became the attraction of the night. In those days there were hardly any Orientals around Syracuse, and a Karen of Burma most people had never heard about. Lu Lu was even asked to show one of the native dances in the middle of the dance floor. As the night went on I must have drunk too many beers, I remember I paid twenty-five cents a bottle. Not too far from this square dance hall I had a friend who had a dairy farm. Lu Lu noticed that I had too many drinks and didn't like me to drive the car. So I gave the car keys to Lu Lu and told her to drive the car. Lu Lu told me that she had driven a car in Burma but that was years ago. I kept telling her to go ahead as there was nothing to it to drive my car. It was automatic and all you had to do is put it in drive and push the gas pedal. We were way out in the country roads, and there wasn't any traffic at all. Lu Lu was very nervous when she was driving, and I was joking about the way she was driving. Not too far from my friend's farm the road made a sharp curve. Lu Lu didn't slow down her speed on the curve, and before we knew it the car was laying in the ditch on its side. It scared Lu Lu to death, but I drank so much beer that night that I could not care less. The front door on my side was all smashed and I couldn't open it. We were able to get out of the car from the steering wheel side. We walked to my friend's farm which was not too far from the car accident. My friend took his tractor and pulled my car out of the ditch. I was still able to drive it home that night, but the door was so badly damaged that I traded it for another used car.

CONTINUED: Having Fun with LuLu in the Farm
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index