18 June 2011

European Vacation + Chinese European Vacation + Modern Parents

Some interesting reads about Europe:

In short: way less.

Fascinating -- the group ate only Chinese food, spent most of their time on the bus, and had a tour guide who was very critical of Europeans.

And then, for fun, a superlong Atlantic article re parenting that I very much enjoyed:

05 June 2011

Translating official mail: Will/won't/do/don't #5

I WON'T miss using Babelfish to translate official mail we receive. Here's one sentence I just typed into the program, from one paragraph of a nine-paragraph document we received after selling our car:

Voor belastingplichtigen die hun hoofdverblijfplaats of maatschappelijke zetel in het Vlaamse Gewest hebben, is de Vlaamse Belastingdienst bevoegd inzake verkeerbelasting, belasting op de inverkeerstelling en eurovignet.

I WILL miss seeing these endless Dutch words. Hoofdverblijfplaats? I love it.

And I will miss the amusing translations and the bluntness. The document from the DIV (= DMV) directs us to others for follow-up questions, and then explains in paragraph 7: Each contact with the DIV about these matters is "volstrekt nutteloos," = "total useless." Oh, nutteloos!

02 June 2011


One more post for my vlog this week. Soren's class did a singalong last week. His role: a duckling. That song is second below; first, a common French children's song, "Savez-vous planter les choux?" ("Do you know how to plant cabbage?") He's the tall one in the middle with a duck bill on his forehead.

On the duck song, you can hear his teacher (our beloved Ewa) trying to slow the pace down, but the children see the end in sight and plow ahead for it. Around 4:00 she gives up.

Earlier, one of Soren's classmates played a tune on the violin. Four-year-old + stringed instrument -- you get the idea. In the middle of it, Clara asked loudly, "Is this a song, Mommy?"

01 June 2011

A Royal Viewing

Breaking news: Did you know there was a royal wedding? We watched it! Our friends David and Sara arrived that morning for a visit, and were happy to view some of it with us. David took these photos (Matthew was very newly injured at this point and thus unable to use his camera).

All the kids enjoyed the procession, checking out outfits, watching the cars and seeing the guards, but Clara just about flipped her lid: