This is also Belgium

I just love multiculturalism.

On Sunday I had a discussion with a papa, whose daughter goes for chess in the same club with my son. The man is originating from India, and we often see each other in the cafeteria.

He: ‘Are you Flemish? I can’t tell – you look like one, but you speak English here..’

Me: ‘I am Hungarian. ..Were you already born in Belgium?’

He: ‘No, still back in India. So, Hungary…well, sorry, all I know of the country is that it has its own unique language, and used to belong to the communist block…’

Me: ‘No worries. In exchange, all we know about India is that it is 1 country…a nice big country, though..’

He: ‘That’s right. The size of Europe. I, for example, have never been in our capital.. I see you are also a fan of clichés.. ‘

Me: ‘Absolutely. Anyway, what do you work in Belgium?’

He: ‘I am a space engineer, working for the European Space Agency.’

Me: ‘Oh, you must then be frequently visiting the Mars.’

He: ‘Not so often any more, I don’t have much free time, so only at the weekends. Where do you work?’

Me: ‘At a bankinsurer.’

He: ‘Then you must be terribly rich!’

Me: ‘ Oh, don’t even mention. We’ve just recently changed at home our gas heating for burning paper – in order to get rid of the piles of banknotes.’

He: ‘Okay, I see chess has finished, the children are returning. Continue next Sunday?’

Me: ‘Fine, see you next Sunday.’

Italian

A regular Sunday evening home – each member of our family communicating in his/her own temper.

Me (exhausted): ‘I’ve been suspecting for a while that our children have inherited some secret Italian genes..’

My husband: ‘I would love to talk to you about it only I cannot hear what you’re saying..’

Nostalgia

Hungarian grandma calling her grandson in Belgium:

‘What would you like for Christmas?’

He (10): ‘A Monopoly!’

Grandma: ‘But I remember you have already such a board game at home..’

He: ‘The Hungarian version is much better.’

Grandma (touched by this 2nd generation nationalism): ‘Better, right? You also prefer the things which are from your motherland..’

He: ‘Yes! In the Hungarian Monopoly we don’t pay tax..’

Antwerp – home of fashion

Today with my daughter (13) I participated in a guided tour – ‘Antwerp Fashion Walk’ – where we got a short summary of the history of the most famous local designers & brands, and could look into some of the collections as well.
My opinion about the exhibited pieces was best expressed by my daughter, saying: 
‘Out of the 1000 pieces I would put on 2 – provided I was paid enough..’
_____________
Ma Noémivel (13) anya-lánya programon vettünk részt: Antwerpeni Divat Séta – kiscsoportos vezetett túra a legfőbb helyi tervezők és brandek életútjának rövid áttekintésével, valamint a kollekció egyes darabjainak megtekintésével.
A bemutatott darabokról alkotott véleményem lányom foglalta össze legtalálóbban:
“Az 1000-ből kb 2-t felvennék – ha sokat fizetnének érte.”

Books and their covers

My daughter (13) has recently received braces on her teeth.

She could choose between many different colours, finally ending up with a pink set.

The dentist, a lady in her 50s, gave her a big smile and confirmed that she could totally understand the colour choice, being ‘nicely girlish’.

My daughter listened to her politely, eventually remarking: 

‘It could be also a reason for my choice. 

..But actually, this is the shade of colour that best matches the anti-theft alert app that I installed on my smartphone a while ago, and use as a Wallpaper ever since.’


Never judge a book by its colour – nor a generation Z female by her braces colour.

________


Noémi (13) a napokban fogszabályzót kapott.

Rengeteg színből választhatott – végül a rózsaszín mellett döntött.


A fogász, egy 50 körüli hölgy, mindezt széles (és hibátlan) mosollyal nyugtázta, és biztosította lányom, hogy teljességgel megérti döntését, mert “a rózsaszín az olyan aranyosan lányos”.


Lányom udvariasan végighallgatta, majd a kedvesen megjegyezte, hogy akár ez is lehetne döntése alapja, bár ő történetesen azért ezt a színt választotta, mivel árnyalatban ez passzol leginkább ahhoz a lopásgátló app-hez, amit a napokban installált, és amit screen-saver azóta is használ az iPhone-ján.


Ne ítélj meg egy könyvet a borítója – egy tinédzser lányt pedig a fogszabályzó színe alapján.


Door-slamming vortex

My daughter (13): ‘Mama, I would like to kindly inform you that you and papa are really lucky with me that despite I am a teenager, I do not do the usual pubertal things such as ups and downs in mood, irritating tone, speaking over my shoulder, or lecture you on what to think and what not.’
Me: ‘We are grateful every.single.day..’
____________
Noémi (13): “Anya, elmondanám neked, h elképesztően szerencsések vagytok velem, amiért én nem produkálom a szokásosan idegesítő pubertás dolgokat, úgy mint váltakozó hangulat, irritáló hangsúlyok, félvállról beszélgetés. Én nem mondom meg nektek, hogy miről mit gondoljatok. Remélem, tisztában vagytok vele, milyen kegyesen bánik veletek a Sors!!”
Én: “Nem lehetünk elég hálásak.”

The whole is sometimes greater than the sum of its parts

My son (currently 9) was 2 years old when we moved from Hungary to Belgium.
This morning, triggered by a tv program, we have the following existential conversation:
Me: ‘Walter, do you think you are Belgian or rather Hungarian?’
He (9ys): ‘50% Belgian, 100% Hungarian.’
Note: Walter is one of the best in his class in maths.
______________
Én: “Walter, szerinted te magyar vagy, vagy flamand?”
Walter (9): “50% belga, 100% magyar.”
Ui: Walter az osztályában a legjobb matekos.