Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The right age

Just before drifting off to sleep my children were discussing such an important existential question as - how old is Michel Telò who sings Ai se eu te pego. A very important question indeed :) In the end they settled with the answer that he's more than twelve (because it's the age of boys, not men, according to my daughter), but definitely less than a hundred years old, because you can't be both - a hundred and still alive and singing!


Today I had to hand in some documents in local municipality, or Municipio as Italians say. My son was strangely excited all the way there, but I suspected nothing till I told him we're done there and can go home. "It wasn't fun!!!", he protested. "Why did you think it would to be fun?", I asked him. "Because monocycle is something clowns use and it's always fun!", he still sounded very disappointed. "Yes, usually it is, but this is not a monocycle, it's a municipio and there's a big difference between the two." I'm still grinning.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Love a child

People who don't love children are very much like atheists. You can't really, deeply love someone whose goodness, awesomeness, uniqueness you haven't experienced. Just a wish or decision won't do the trick. You can't decide to love. This feeling is as instinctive and untamed as a wild deer. Those, who haven't held their newborn baby in their arms observing the slightest details of the tiny hands or counted their breaths while they sleep as deeply and sweetly as only babies can, will never understand it to that depth. People generally love children because they are funny, just like kittens and puppies, silly, amusing. But only when you are a parent your first and strongest instinct, fed on burning love, is to protect your children, to give them all the best of this world.
Today I took my  three year old son out of a private kindergarten where, regardless two teachers per a dozen children, his face has been deeply scratched from eye to chin twice in last three weeks. To say that I felt my trust betrayed or that I was angry is to say nothing. Something broke in me. I was so furious I could barely keep my eyes dry. What was even more painful was the fact that teacher tried to blame it on my son, one of those electric kids who never seem to gain peace of mind except in their deep sleep. He had already been hurt twice in that place and yet it's somehow his fault. Not the two teachers' fault who should be "older and wiser" than the three-to-five-year-olds whom they're teaching, the teachers who should prevent fights, not the boys who did the actual damage on my child's face. No no, it's him, because he can be provocative when he's bored and snappy if he's pushed around by others. Yet again today I faced the fact that private school is not necessarily a synonym of higher quality or security. Ironically, in our case it was obviously quite the opposite. A teacher who doesn't recognise the first signs of a brewing quarrel and just lets those kids explode into each others faces is no better than any stranger taken from the street. A person who doesn't recognise the signs of wildfire shouldn't be firefighter, should he? Then why take school system down to the level where they don't bother to give teachers basic pedopsychology course before employing them? Moreover they employ young teachers who are not parents themselves and have no personal experience or parental instincts. I felt crushed today. I hate to discover that people can't take good care of my child even if I pay them good money.

Friday, 3 February 2012

How to google a postman

Yesterday I went to the local post office to send a few letters. Yes, I belong to that archaic group of people who still sends enveloped letters by post. To be completely honest, mostly for work or as holiday greetings, but nevertheless. Waiting in queue can be both boring and interesting. Staying in a crowded room full of strangers is tiresome, but it pays. Where else do you get to see so many different individuals together, their nerves strained against time? For instance, there is an old woman who regularly comes to this post office to pay some bills (I wonder where she gets so many bills), and her hobby is queue jumping. I'm sure she thinks she has mastered the art to perfection and that's why nobody objects anymore to her irrational behaviour: taking several queue tickets, then not using any of them and squeezing close to someone at the reception window and sliding her bill and banknotes with explanatory murmurs  to the person who's about to pay his own bills. Of course people don't usually deny her help, but it has nothing to do with her sneaking talent.
So yesterday morning I was in that queue again, observing people inconspicuously, when I saw two teenagers at the reception window. What they were trying to do made me grin so wide I couldn't stop myself. From what I understood they had written a letter to the headmaster of their school and gathered signatures under it, so now the letter had to be sent in official mode with a return receipt in order to get proof that the letter has reached him. So far so good, democracy at its highest. There was only one problem. The students didn't have the envelope to put the letter in, didn't know the exact address of the school, nor did they know the postal code of that street. And when the postal worker drew their attention to these facts they were flabbergasted! "Why, that is the job of post office to provide us with such information!", the girl exclaimed. The postal worker, a very kind middle aged man, did his best to help the ignorant, but still couldn't help shaking his head. Ah, the delightful google-generation!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The scary times

Everything in this world is relative, I've no doubt you've realised it by now. What is considered rubbish by someone, is a great treasure for someone else. But there is one thing that unites all people of all walks of life. It's the feeling, in some cases overwhelming and panic inducing, that right now we live in the scariest times ever. The mass (manipulation) media will eagerly nod to it and create fabric for these fears in larger and larger portions. The fear is an excellent soil for vast range of scoops. And we all know that scoops get newspapers sold. What a strange twist of human mind. But if you ask readers who snatch those scoop containing magazines and then drop them like hot potatoes why they keep such a close look on current events through the media binoculars, most of them will say that, living in such scary times, it's important to be well informed. Are we living in the scariest times ever? I am not convinced at all. We certainly live in hard times, I don't know anyone who's not going through difficulties right now. On global level it's leavened because now it takes only seconds for news to travel across the world, but that doesn't increase the power of death, famine, losses, losses, losses. These tragic events have always been there. Death is part of life. Loss is part of life. Apart from the undeniable technological progress of the last couple of centuries, there is very little change in the world, it's just that we get to hear about it in a flash and in amplified amounts. Under the weight of so called news broadcasts many start to break down morally and forget altogether that we are not the first and, I dare say, nor the last people who have to go through grievances during their lifetime. I reckon it's time to find our feet again. You are what you eat? Then stop feeding on toxic media information, look around and make up your own mind.