I met Soh Ang for lunch in Jackson Heights. She took me to the Jackson Diner. The name is mistaking. It is not a Diner but an Indian restaurant. They are serving buffet on Sundays and that is what we had. There was Tandoori chicken, several curries, vegetable dishes, Naan and Basmati rice as well as Dosas and Salad. I never had a Dosa before. It is a kind of pancake filled with potatoes and is served with a sauce to dip in. What I ate was nice for my European tongue but Soh Ang said it had been better before.
Soh Ang needed a Sari because she is invited to a Singhalese wedding where women are supposed to wear a Sari. So we checked out Sari shops after lunch. That was a real adventure for me. These shops sell fabric as well as ready to wear Saris and other Indian clothes. They were pretty busy. We browsed through the racks where Saris are neatly folded on hangers. Shiny ones with embroideries for more festive use and simple ones for normal days. You need a special blouse and a kind of underskirt to wear with a Sari. Once you selected your Sari they will give you the matching underskirt. Or you can buy complete sets containing the Sari, the blouse and the skirt. Soh Ang went for a not shiny one in orange with violet prints on it and she got a bright orange underskirt. It will not be seen beneath the Sari, she assured me. They did not show how to fold and wrap it. The standard customers to these shops are Indian women and they of course know how to do it.
Should I get a Sari as well? Ok, I would probably never wear it and I don’t know what to do with it. So this would not be a good idea. But maybe I’ll get me one of these frocks to wear over a pair of trousers next time I’ll visit Jackson Heights.
Soh Ang wanted to show me her house in Jamaica, so we caught an eastbound F train and got there (the neighborhood, not the island). Jamaica Estates on one side of the High Street is a residential area and looks very much like a suburb. Wide streets, individual houses with gardens, big cars. You don’t think you are in New York City, but you are. Soh Ang lives in a friendly white house with her husband, two big dogs and five cars. She took me around the neighborhood in her BMW and finally to Forest Hills. That is an interesting neighborhood where I definitely want to spend a day walking around. It looks very old fashioned and has adorable stone houses. Very European, according to Soh Ang.
In Forest Hills I caught the E train that runs express to Manhattan. But it runs underground. I was in the mood to see something so I decided to change to the 7 train at Jackson Heights. That was not a good idea because it was very crowded, I did not get a seat and it took me ages to get home.
What I learned today:
How to buy a Sari