(Eppernay June 2013)
This week was the first week after Christmas holidays, so – big readjustment: waking up early, breakfasts with Blackberry (and I don’t mean berries here), scheduling meetings and multitasking. No more sluggish daydreaming.
As usual, need to have an answer ready for all possible variations of a very innocent question, if I went back to spend my holidays in Russia. I wonder when someone comes to work in Europe from Sudan or Kenya – are they also expected to go back to their countries on every possible occasion?
Luxembourg is a first country where I start thinking about telling people the truth. It’s so multi-cultural and open-minded, you at least have a hope to be understood. Not everyone likes children, or animals, or winter sports, or going “home” for Christmas. Get over it.
For example, I am supposed to be deliriously exited about Diana’s paintings at school and all the clumsy handcraft they produce. I am glad they are occupied and try something that keeps them busy, but (to be very honest) the outcome is still… graceless. Not at par comparing even to some of the most confusing exhibits at Strasbourg MAMCS. I won’t display it in my living room and I won’t keep it at all. As soon as a kid stops playing with it, it becomes rubbish and goes to bin. However, for some reason saying these things out and loud is impolite. Like not loving animals or winter sports.
There is hope though. I told someone today:
– Sorry, I cannot really take part in your parents association, I work full time and often go on business trips, I will probably miss the majority of the meetings.
– But we really would like some diversity and fresh insights, even if you cannot come very often, we would love to have you, when you are available…
– I wish I knew more about child psychology or educational theories, you would be a lot better off with someone more suitable…
– No, it’s OK, you are not supposed to be an expert. It’s not the goal.
(conversation continues for another 10 minutes)
– Look, I have to go and I feel like I need to be more transparent here. I cannot join your group because I do not like children except for my own. I do not enjoy other kids company, I find them uninteresting and annoying. I am just not that into it.
– That’s fine. I totally understand.
Like I said. People are indeed becoming more and more open minded: Pope Francis is not judging gays, my son Pavel is calculating his personal budget for the next year (trust me, this is an important cultural development), I am still not shopping and not even browsing… so there is hope.