...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Story About Vomit (Not for the Faint-Hearted)

I'm not a fan of telling stories that, um, reflect no-so-well on me. So, for that purpose, today I've got a story about Pippi.
Pippi Longstocking.

Pippi was so glad it was Friday night. It had been long week and she was looking forward to the weekend - she had plans to visit the tallest mountain in all of Europe.
But first - a costume party!

She was going to go as, uh, Pippi Longstocking, and despite feeling slightly unwell, dressed up as, ahem, herself. A friend of hers dropped by on her way to same party and also became Pippi Longstocking.
And off they went - catching the train to the city where they would dazzle everyone with their - ah, long stockings.

Until Kylie, I mean Pippi, continued to feel more and more unwell. Quite nauseous and capable of projectile vomit.
The pair of Pippi's arrived at their destination, and after taking a small walk in the hope of giving Pippi#1 some fresh air, decided that they really should head back home.

On a side note, you would be very surprised how many people will stare at you when you are dressed up as Pippi Longstocking. Pippi#1 was so glad that she had been unable to make bendy wire stick in the long plaits.
Oh so glad.

They sat down to wait for their train and spent their time discussing where it would be best, should be the need arise, to throw up. On the train tracks? Or in the rubbish bin? The Pippi's were divided on this issue.
Finally their train came and they boarded and sought seats near the toilet. Just in case. Although, by this time, you should know that it was highly likely.
There were none and so Pippi collapsed on the steps of the train.

*Side note: Ticket-checkers will NOT check your ticket if you look white or green. Or perhaps if you are dressed up as Pippi Longstockings with your head between your knees.

Pippi would like you to know that there is nothing quite so undignified as throwing up into the toilet of a moving train dressed up as Pippi Longstockings.
Or as the Ticket Inspectors asking if you were pregnant. Me? said Pippi. I'm just a kid!

Unfortunately Pippi was unable to visit the highest mountain in all of Europe that weekend but hopes to in the future. Instead, she spent her weekend studying the causes and statistics of why she is far more likely to get sick on the weekend when she doesn't have to work.
She promises to publish any future findings.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Story About Chocolate

I was making MLF2's bed this week and I came across this:

Well, actually, it looked more like this:

They were somewhere in there with the sheets, very over-sized bear (which takes up more of the bed than she does!), pillows and the worn-out but much-loved duck. I think it's a duck.

How to discuss this? How can I, who can easily consume large quantities of chocolate in my bed during a book or movie, tell an 8-year old that she really shouldn't be eating small caramel lollies in bed after the brushing of teeth.

They may be small, but my friend Jill thinks they are better than Nutella! Sacrilege.

And so that night I broached the problem.
MLF2? (I don't really call her this, in real life I use her name) I think there's a little problem.


Well, I found Carambar wrappers in your bed. I think your bear has been doing something a bit naughty. I think Teddy has been eating them at night when you are asleep and I don't think they are good for him.

Her face was hilarious when I told her this. At first, she looked really worried, as though she knew she'd been caught out. Then, as I blamed the bear, she looked relieved. She even smiled.

Perhaps you could tell Teddy not to eat them in bed anymore. They are not good for your, I mean, his, teeth.

We reached an agreement. She'd let the, ahem, bear know, and Carambars would no longer be consumed in bed.

Now, where's my jar of Nutella?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reflections During My 35th Week

I was driving home with the girls tonight from horse riding lessons. It was dark and and all the lights over the Lake were just beautiful. We had the music turned up, singing, and for once, I wasn't lost and I knew where I was going.
And I just felt overwhelmingly blessed.

I still wake up every morning and can't believe I'm living in Switzerland.
This thought comes after, Humph Grumph What's that incessant ringing Oh it's my alarm How do I shut that thing off Can I sleep a little bit longer.
But still. I'm pretty sure I'm in the top 100 Luckiest People in the World.

I've been going to School with the girls this week and sitting in on their classes. I like this because:
  • I get to practice my German with the unsuspecting Kindergartners from MLF3's class. I got to have a whole conversation today with a little boy. Granted, it was about a toy helicopter - but still, I don't think he picked up on the fact that I speak English. A lot of the conversation was filled up on my behalf with words like Super and Megacool - but at least I sound hip.
  • I got to actually understand the lessons in MLF2's class - they were English lessons, but whatever.
  • I beat kids at a French counting game in MLF1's class. Yes, Mum, your efforts teaching me to count to 10 in French have finally paid off. Madame (What's her name - your French teacher??) would be so proud.

I've been especially aware this last week that I am here. It's not that I forget, but this week I've remembered. Some days it's hard and I feel tired and far away from home. And if I have to look at that Vacuum Cleaner again, I'm going to throw it from the top floor
(Of course, that would involve lugging it all the way up there, so I would think twice).
But all days I love being here and am overwhelmingly glad I came. My experience has far exceeded any expectations. I just love it.

Alas - time is slipping away. I keep thinking, It's only November, but tonight MLF1 came to me with some important calculations.
Only 48 days until we leave.
Huh? That's so....[gulp] soon.

Did I mention that I'm leaving a little early? Before a full 12 months? I'm leaving with my Swiss family on a sailing trip. On a boat. In the water. Somewhere a little south of the Caribbean.
Not sure how long. A month? Two? But then I am coming back to Switzerland. I hope. For 3 months. I plan to milk that Tourist Visa for all it's worth.

So these are few thoughts that are swimming around in my head. Along with questions of next year and what I should do with the rest of my life. But you know, no need to sweat the small stuff.
I got to fulfill a lifelong dream on Saturday. I licked Liechtenstein. Also discovered the ruins of a Wild Castle and very much enjoyed forests full of Autumn.
LG. Life's Good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Guided Tour Gone Wrong

Dear Tourist Guide Registration Office,

I would like your suitability checklist reviewed.
Or perhaps you just let one slip through the crack.

Recently, I was in Germany, in an unidentified city, which will remain nameless until I blog about in the future.
I went on a tour.
The tour was fine. The city is beautiful.

Unfortunately a droning irritating voice followed me throughout the whole tour.
Or perhaps I followed it. Yet to be confirmed as the tour guide.
I seemed to be attached to it by an invisible thread, also known as a tour.
Do not be alarmed, I was not alone. I was fully surrounded by others attached by an invisible thread, also known as a tour group. We held each other up for support.

I tried to follow along at the safest distance possible - ie 1 km, but then he would just shout at me to hurry. To be honest, I was embarrassed to be seen with him in broad daylight. Nighttime, perhaps. With the cover of darkness.

I knew things were a bit strange from the beginning, at the first attraction. Here, he spent no less than 5 minutes laughing at the people around us taking photos of the aforementioned attraction. Whilst instructing us, his obedient tour group, to NOT take photos. He loudly proclaimed that this was perhaps the most disappointing tourist attraction in Europe.
I liked it?

Now, I like jokes. I make too many of them. Funniness is funny. I like to laugh. BUT IF I'M NOT LAUGHING, STOP TELLING YOUR JOKES. Curiosity definitely killed the cat and your jokes killed your entire tour group.

The guide behind the droning voice with the unfunny jokes hissed at me. Seriously, it was a hiss. He also told the girl beside me that he didn't like her. Twice. Tour guides have to at least pretend they like the people in their group, don't they?

And he kept lamenting to us, NOT his friends or even sympathetic listeners, about his relationship issues. Over and over again. I think I unfortunately know more about his past love lives that I do of the city of M*****.

And he kept mentioning his tips. Every time I heard him mention his tips, I mentally deducted 1€ from my tip. 10€ - 100 x his unsubtle tip remarks = you do the maths. I'll keep the end result to myself, but let's just say he now owes me money.
I wanted to hand him a piece of paper, on which I'd written, Don't give up your day job, because that would be a tip he could use, but I think this is his day job!

The tour was fine. The city is beautiful. But there's a heartbroken, unfunny, hissing tour guide out there. And he owes me money.

Much love,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Goodbye Autumn?

Autumn is fast giving way to Winter, so when I took a walk around our Village this afternoon I took my camera. It's so beautiful here at the moment, and, like I resented Autumn for taking over Summer, I'm also resenting Winter for stealing Autumn.

Perhaps too much resentment? If the seasons could just slow down a little bit, please. Thank you.

I'm off in the morning for Munich, or M√ľnchen, for the weekend. Hopefully there'll still be some leaves left on the trees there! I'll let you know...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

17 Toothbrushes, And Counting...

I probably really should have called this blog, All About Me, By MLF3 (it even rhymes) but I didn't. It's not supposed to be all about her.
However, I find myself writing yet another blog entry about her. I sort of apologize. But - it's my blog and she makes me laugh so much. So therefore:

She turned 5 last week and her birthday party was today.
We were brushing teeth after lunch (side note: there are 17 toothbrushes in this house! - not including mine!) and she wanted to use MLF2's toothpaste, Junior.

You see, it clearly states on MLF3's toothpaste, Kinder, that it is for until you are 5.
In the past, she would never ever use MLF2's toothpaste because it was too hot. Not even under threat of death.
But today - she was ready, and insisted upon it.
I tried to insinuate that we had 2 tubes of Kinder to use up before she could give up forever, but she didn't take the hint.

2 seconds into brushing she started to give me the eyes.
Bobbing up and down.
Waving her hands around.
Wild hand movements.
Strange vowel sounds coming out of a frothy bubbling mouth.
I listen closely - what is she saying.
Bleh Blah Bleh Blah ..hell.
What? I think. Something about hell?
She repeats: Blah Blah Bleh Blah ...hell.

In German, hell means bright in English. And I don't think she understands hell in English.
After several more attempts (whilst brushing) I understand.
Bleh Blah Bleh Bleh SCHNELL.

Bit hot for you, MLF3? Want to use the Kinder toothpaste tonight?
And tonight: She wisely chose the Kinder toothpaste.
After all, there are still 2 more tubes to use up.