Saturday 21 November 2015

Curiouser and curiouser

Very often, Ads will bombard me with random pieces of information. Sample from this afternoon, all in a space of less than 5 minutes.
Did you know Japan has 353,000 robots? The USA has 153,000.
If you tickle yourself, you won't laugh because the cerebellum send signals to the brain to ignore the tickling.
A US survey lists clergyman, firefighter, physical therapist and teacher as the most satisfying professions 
More than half of household dust actually consists of discarded human skin shavings, which are worn out skin cells (yuck!)
All of which makes me think of how different my kids are, even when it comes to being curious. Ads' curiosity is of the intellectual kind. He is interested in the large questions - the human race, the nature of God and the Universe, science and so on (though he has lately developed an annoying habit of reading all my whatsapp messages!). He learns through reading and accepts unquestioningly anything he reads. Long ago I suppose, he came to terms with the very limited intelligence of his parents and others around him and therefore relies on books for knowledge :)
Y's curiosity, on the other hand is more earthy. She is very interested in gossip, what everyone's saying, why that person said this and thought that....more like tell me the here and and the Universe are unfathomable and will always be :) She learns, not through books, but by unceasing questioning. What's that word mean? Why did Thatha say that? What do you mean by that? Why did this happen? She learns by doing and is far more intuitive than her brother- the main reason why she will always have better life skills than him!
Sometimes, I want to make a list like we used to do in school. List 10 differences between Ads & Y. I feel like drawing a line in the middle and listing them all down :) This is the case with many siblings but I am always amazed by how chalk and cheese my kids are. Nature intended parents to always be on their toes and never develop a sense of complacence while raising their second or third child.

Only in France

Paris, late October. I was picked up by a shuttle bus to catch my flight to Seattle. We had to stop for a couple more passengers before heading to the airport. In a narrow lane (all lanes in central Paris seemed narrow!), a truck stopped just ahead of us to deliver provisions to a hotel. The truck was right in the middle of the street/lane. He couldn't have parked anyplace else because both sides of the street were crammed with parked cars. Slowly, the driver got down, pulled down the tailgate, fished out a cart to ferry the provisions and proceeded to load the cart with food, drink, paper towels and what have you. 
I watched this performance, mildly incredulous at first and later, with rising panic. My driver sat next to me, unruffled and unhurried. Clearly he was prepared to wait as long as it took the truck to disgorge its hotel delivery. Slowly, behind us, a line of cars and other vehicles developed. No one honked. Everyone waited patiently.  
I couldn't stand it any more. Isn't there another way out of this street, I asked? My driver said no. Not that we could have moved in any direction anyway, as we were completely hemmed in. After a good 20-25 minutes, the truck finally drove off and traffic resumed as usual. And I didn't miss my flight as feared!
Of course, I had to think about all the shouting, cursing, honking and creative solutions deployed had this happened in India :)
Everytime I get annoyed and antsy, I think of the zen attitude of my driver and everyone around...and attempt to channel my inner French-ness :)