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..’

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.’

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.

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.’