Authentic

In a (Gazelle) bike shop in Antwerp, Belgium.

My husband (to the shop assistant): ‘I would like a bike for myself – what do you recommend?’

Shop assistant: ‘Now, that I look at you, the Heavy Duty model for sure.’
My husband: ‘Heavy Duty – very authentic. Describes my whole existence. Let’s find a bike to my wife, too. Do you have also models like ‘Easy Life’?’

There is always another solution

School yard, long break.

One of the teachers (dragging a sobbing 5-year old along to my daughter):

‘Noëmi, Tim says you have just called him an Exceptionally Wicked Child.’

My daughter (13): ‘Correct.’

Teacher: ‘May I ask you not to call him this name any more? You can see it hurts him a lot, he is crying.’

My daughter: ‘Tim hit my little brother a few minutes ago so hard from behind that Walter is still in pain.

If somebody is an Exceptionally Wicked Child, I think it is fair to call hem an ‘Exceptionally Wicked Child’.’

Teacher: ‘I understand now – still, could you please find another solution?’

My daughter: ‘Well, OK. Since this level of wickedness is really exceptional and does not occur very frequently in our school, in the future I will call him ‘Limited Edition’.’

Leuven

Recently I have visited a conference in Leuven University, Belgium.

Beautiful town.

From this fact and the quality of presentations I immediately concluded that one of our children should definitely come here to study.

I immediately started to contemplate which one of them should be The One, during which process I analysed highly scientific factors.

Among them the most relevant argument seems to be that the University is situated approx. 2 kms from the railway station, which distance needs to be covered completely on cobblestone, and that, on a daily basis, is really challenging on high heels, so it should be our son, Walter.

At the same time, if one of you is aware of a university which can be accessed on a smooth surface, please let me know, as apart from our 10-yr old son, I also feel like deciding on the future of my 13-yr-old daughter, is preferably still today.

Later

Our son (10): ‘Mama, I’ve heard a word and don’t know what it means.’

Me: ‘Which word is that?’

He: ‘Abortion.’

Me: ‘Well.

If a woman doesn’t want to have a child, she goes to a hospital, and the doctors, with an operation, take the baby out of her tummy, when the baby is very very very small, months before it would be born.’

He (heavily thinking): ‘Take out?’

Me: ‘Yes.’

He: ‘But… then the doctors need to do it very very carefully to make sure the baby doesn’t get hurt..’

.

.

Ok. A topic maybe for later.

You just can’t have it all

…the feeling when you visit with the family the hyper automated cinema full of innovative ideas (e.g. self-purchase counters..) and you pay EUR 50 for the 4 of you.. and then you need queue up for the toilets where they ask you to pay an extra EUR 0.40 – in cash..

Customer experience.

Still a long way to go.

It’s all perspective

Me (to my 13-yr-old daughter): ‘Can you remind me, please, what the Dutch verb ‘verwennen’ means? I forgot..’

She: ‘It means e.g. when parents pamper their children, do everything for them..’

Me: ‘Ah, now I start to understand. But ‘pamper/do everything for them’ – you mean in the positive or negative sense?’

She: ‘From whose perspective?’

Black Friday

Quiz: how to be unbelievably and limitless naughty?

Background: my son, Walter (10) attended a Santa Claus party today. He reports to have been rather bored as Santa made a far too long speech, meanwhile Underaged Walter understandably got a little hungry, so he carefully took some sweets from the pocket of Black Pete.

MY SON HAS PICKPOCKETED BLACK PETE!!!!!

I envision a bright future for him in the business world.

Sinta

Our daughter (13):
‘Grown-ups always warn children of two things: eat healthy, and never accept anything from strangers.
At Santa time of the year, however, they themselves encourage children to accept in shops and even in the street a crazy amount of candies and lollies from not only total strangers they know nothing about, but also from totally creepy strangers who wear such a strong make up under which it is impossible to recognise anybody, not to mention if you need later to identify the guy.
Grown-ups are not logical.’

Almost vacation

Our son (10) comes home today, giving me an envelope from school. I ask him to open it, he starts to read it out:

‘Oh, it’s about vacation!!’

(Note: vacation in Dutch – ‘vakantie’)

He (surprised): ‘..Only they spelt it with double ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’..’

Me: ‘Hmm, could you show me for a second? …. Ah, I see… it is not a spelling mistake: the 1st ‘c’ in this word you pronounce as a ‘k’ in most languages..’

He: ‘Oh nooooooooooo!!!!’

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.’

KPIs

A few days ago, after finding solution to a problem, I received the below feedback from a nice colleague working abroad:

‘…Piros, you are a SAINT – someone we can always turn to at the HQ!’

I am still trying to figure out how exactly being a saint can be matched up with my KPIs for 2019.

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..’

Just another key argument

Our daughter (13) started secondary school in September, and now is preparing for the approaching exam period.
She is checking her digital agenda for the exam schedule, and sees the following notes:
– “Catholic studies: EXAM!!”
– “Islam studies: EXAM!!”
She (who attends ‘ethics’ at school – as an alternative for children of non-religious families): 
‘Mama, you and papa were totally right. Just found another key argument in favour of atheism.’

Innovation

Me (enthusiastically): ‘Look at that innovative solution on the beer crate – a handle in the middle! I cannot recall it from earlier, there were handles only on the 2 sides..’

My husband (mutually enthusiastic): ‘Indeed! Isn’t technological revolution wonderful! How easier life has become for single alcoholists!’

Charmeur

We have an acquaintance – a kind lady in her 60s, she leads a very sporty life, and cares about her appearance in every respect – of which she is rather proud.

At this moment she is trying to chitchat with our little son.

Sporty Lady (sending an encouraging smile): ‘And, Walter, can you guess how old I am?’

Walter (carefully studying her before giving an answer): ’80?’

Walter is a charmeur.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

Our son (10): ‘Let’s organize a cookie race!’
Me: ‘OK, but we did it already at the weekend..’
He: ‘It didn’t count – out of several reasons.’
Me: ‘Like what..?’
He:
‘First of all it was not the 2 of us. It was only me making cookies, and you – tasting them. We cannot call me a winner if in the competition it’s only me entering..
So, all of us in the family need to participate – apart from you.’
Me: ‘Why is it so?’
He: ‘The jury is not allowed to participate in the competition, that wouldn’t be fair to the others.’
Aha, so we still know these things, when we are 10..

Alienated

I already travelled with this gentleman one morning last week, too – I recognise the shoes and coat.

..And once it has turned this way, I have just woken him up before we got to Brussels-North railway station, where I know he needs to get off.

He was so happy & grateful. We wished each other a nice day, hoping to meet also next time.

And studies dare to say that commuting has a negative impact on your social network..

Yes, we can!

Just seen the invitation to a renowned international event celebrating diversity – meaning very concretely an award ceremony for outstanding women in business, promoting ‘Gender Equality’.

For the indicated dress code please see the photo.

It is still a long way to go, I presume.. 😉

A day in the life of a unicorn

Our daughter, Noëmi (13), this morning travels to Amsterdam, NL, with her music school class to watch a famous musical. The children need to be delivered to the school bus by 10 o’clock (the meeting place is located 15 min from our home by bike).

Now you need to know that Noëmi is not that nervous type.

Readiness status:

9.22 – She has already put on one of her socks

9.28 – And now the other one

9.34 – ..Pardon, it was too early to be so self-confident. True, she has started to put on her other sock – which process was then dramatically interrupted by other Activities of Higher Priority, such as an incoming chat message, the patterns on her socks, remembering a funny story having happened 3.5 years ago, a piece of interesting-shape dust on the ceiling..

9.40 – She finally starts to have breakfast

9.44 – ..No, correction: it’s more accurate to say that ‘she sat down next to her plate’.

I, like some high-ranking military training instructor, give her reminders ranging tone from the ‘soft & friendly’ to the ‘loud & powerful’ in all imaginable styles and genres.

My daughter in the meanwhile is kindly asking about my workplace, how things go there, and is giving me some coaching wherever she feels it imperative. She seems to be ready not only to consume her 2-course breakfast within the remaining 35 seconds, but also to address all issues of her mother’s employer.

9.49 – She starts to brush teeth.

We, parents, encourage her tooth-by-tooth.

9.52 – She gets enthusiastic:

‘Mama, papa, this school trip will be such an exciting experience!!’

My husband (in a somber tone):

’My Dearest Daughter, apart from you for all other family members already your leaving home is rather an exciting experience.’

Ps 1: The label on her T-shirt is a summary of her CV.

Ps 2: From among experiencing the above and reporting about it in my blog, it was the latter one being the more fun.

Viszlát

A mai napon fogászati kezelésre voltam hivatalos.

Belépve Ismerős DrÚr szentélyébe:

Ő: “Hogy van mindig?”

Én: “Ameddig önnel találkozom, remekül.”

Ő: Ez igazán kedves!!”

Én: “Úgy értem AMEDDIG. Aztán ez egész gyorsan el szokott múlni.”

Ő (lefittyedt mosollyal): “Egy pillanatra pedig azt gondoltam, hogy ön más, mint a többi páciensem…”

Én (érzelemittasan): “Dehát épp arra készül hogy kihúzza a bölcsességfogam!!”

Ő: “Nézze. Rossz helyen van. Kinőtt – hiba volt…egyáltalán mi szüksége van magának bölcsességfogra? Úgy látom, nem szorul tuningra.”

Én: “Ez taktikus volt. Most mondta életében először, még soha senki más páciensnek, jól gondolom?”

Ő: “Ön feltűnően gyanakvó. Kérem, foglaljon helyet a fogorvosi székben..”

Megtörténik a művelet.

Ő: “Natessék, itt van. Kívánja eltenni szuvenírnak?”

Én: “Well, a “szuvenír” szóról nekem több minden beugrik, pl parfüm, édesség … de kihúzott bölcsességfog most valahogy nem. Így az ünnepélyes átadástól ezúttal eltekinthetünk.”

Ő: “Csalódottá tesz..”

Én: “Úgy érzem, az ezzel járó pszichés tehert most fel fogom tudni dolgozni. Viszlát! Azaz miket is beszélek…”

Ő: “Késő, már kimondta. Viszlát!”

Time flies when you are having fun

Our son (10): ‘Mama, what is a ‘gramophone’?
Me: ‘Walter, it was similar to a record player, and…’
Walter: ‘A recordwhat?’
Our daughter (13): ‘Thanks, Mama, I’ll take over from here, if I may.
Walter, a gramophone was a device on which mama and her friends used to listen to music: they put a big CD on an even bigger machine, and scratched the surface with a needle. Of course, you don’t exactly know what a CD is, being totally outdated technology by now, but what you do need to remember is that gramophone was just like Spotify, only it took funnily big room in the house.’

Nuances

I’ve just found back an email: my announcement from 3 years ago made to the parents of our son’s class:

‘Parents of children from 2nd grade – attention attention!

Walter (7ys) invited yesterday already some of his friends for his birthday party in December.

The invitations were perfectly made, only the date, time and location is missing from some of them.

Plus he couldn’t exactly tell who he has already invited.

If you happen to see a mysterious invitation card where – with a bit of luck – the name is indicated, please let me know, and you will receive some additional irrelevant details. Have a nice day all!

Or anything

First of all you need to know I cannot cook. Never could, nor having been any interested. However, I married well: my husband is a great chef 🙂
Me (on Sunday to my 10-yr-old son, who fortunately takes after his papa):
‘It’s great that you are baking a cake!!’
He (in strong encouragement): ‘Mama, I am sure your mom will be also very excited once you bake your first cake.. or anything..’

Parents solve everything

Our son, Walter’s (10) birthday party takes place this afternoon in a playhouse. A lot of toys, pancake and other inevitable ingredients foreseen.

Walter (last night before going to bed, slightly worried):

‘Papa, what would happen if I became ill by tomorrow? All has been organised and been paid..’

My husband: ‘We would solve it Walter, do not worry.’

Walter: ‘Hurraaay!! You are the best papa!’

My husband: ‘..As I said we would solve it. We would look for another boy aged 10, named Walter, and go for the party..’

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..’

Me big – she small

If Saturday, it is table tennis lesson for my daughter.

It’s me biking with her to the training.

Suddenly, on our way, I realise that she is wearing the wrong shoes (black street footwear instead of sporty ones), so I suggest her to play bare footed today (as 2nd best option).

She (studying my outfit): ‘Or, mama, as you are wearing your white sneakers, maybe to simply change shoes for the training..’

Me (patronisingly): ‘Creative idea, Sweetheart, indeed, but of course there is no way our sizes match..’

The photo is taken of me already on the bench.

Love is love

Last night I was home alone with the children (my husband being abroad for work).

With my son (10) we are watching videos by Queen on YouTube.

Me (showing him the below photos): ‘..And so he was Freddie Mercury.’

He (carefully studying the pictures): ‘They must have been very good friends, since they are together on a lot of photos.’

Me: ‘In fact, that gentleman was his love.’

He (truly surprised): ‘That other man with the moustache?’

Me: ‘Yep. It happens.’

He:

‘I see.

It’s good to be loved so much.’

That’s it, basically.