Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter holiday - The separation

Aelig is on winter school holidays, so we sent her to her grandparents.

Some kids are excited about going away, but not Aelig.

So, we try to prepare the separation.

A week before the vacation, we told her that she is going to the see her grandparents.
"With papa & maman", she replied.

The day before the departure, we joyfully said that we were going to her grandparents' house.
"With papa & maman", she had the same reply.

We were having dinner with my parents in laws. I told her that she will be seeing her greatgrandma and her uncle Benjy.
Her: "With papa & maman."
Me: "We can't go, we will have to work."
Her: "I want to go to work too."
Me: "Well, my boss will not be happy if you come with me."
Her: "I want to stay at home".
Me: "But nobody will cook for you when you are hungry."
Her in crying tone: "I want to go to work with you...".
Poor girl.

We were waiting for my in laws to come home before heading back.
Seeing that we were not leaving yet, she started chatting with me.
Her: "Maman, you don't have to go to work, yeah!!!"
Me: "No, we will have to work tomorrow."
We were still not leaving, it raised her hope.
Her: "Yeah, you guys don't have to go to work tomorrow."
Me: "We will have to go once your grandparents come home".
Her: "Then I want to go to work."
Me: "Kids do not work, they go to school, and you are on holidays".
At this point, my in laws came back, time to leave.
Me: "See, your grandparents are back!"
She started crying, as she remembered that we would go when her grandparents come back.
Hubby hugged her and promised her that he would call her every evening.
She then hugged me tightly and kept asking me to come pick her soon.
Still crying, she reluctantly let her grandma hold her, and then we waved goodbye.

Now our dilemma is whether we should go see her this weekend and repeat the separation scene as she would still be on holidays next week.

Sick of being sick

Last weekend our Chinese New Year celebration with friends was canceled because my friend's husband and kid fell sick (flu and cold). I have heard that many people fall sick this winter, the viruses are everywhere!

Well, we have been sick too, actually since the beginning of winter. Aelig had fever before Christmas holiday, I got serious runny nose during Christmas vacation, hubby stayed home several days due to digestion problems. I started having runny nose again during our ski vacation, and it got worsen and two weeks later I still need to blow my nose every 30 minutes. And now hubby is down again with ear infection.

Looking at Aelig's health book record she didn't get sick last winter. So, we are being attached by viruses due to two changes:

1. Aelig goes to school and brings back plenty of viruses every day. Every morning she has to kiss her teachers (imagine 25 kids kissing the same teachers), interact with her classmates, all these increase the circulation of viruses and contamination.

2. I moved to an open space. Now instead of greeting two coworkers, I have to greet (air kiss, shake hands) 20++ people per day.

I seriously urge the French government to discourage people doing air kissing and hand shaking during the viruses outbreak. When I'm sick I refuse to kiss / shake hands. Hubby said he feels that the Malaysians are cold, they don't have physical contact when they greet. Well I actually miss the little head nod in the morning, that sure prevents virus transmission! I don't remember that we have a season that everyone is falling sick back home. I feel surprise that winter sickness affects so many people here. Almost every week we have a coworker on sick leave, or who's who's kid is having stomach flu...

So sick of getting sick.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Maiden name vs married name

Today I deleted a coworker's access account.

We were doing a spring cleaning for several tool accounts and I just removed her because she was using her maiden name. And I only know her married name.

She has a common French first name, we have three people who have the same name in our team. It was just impossible to know every woman's maiden name.

It is the tradition in France that once a woman gets married, she would use her husband last name, usually for the administrative purposes. Recently more and more French women keep their maiden name but they are still in the minority.

Once I told hubby that I exist only as his spouse in the income tax form as I do not see my name printed on it. It was true, in the tax form, there was one column listing all the tax information for "You", and the other column for "Spouse". "You" refers to hubby as the form was addressed to Mr or Mrs Hubby LB. If he remarries the presentation of the form won't have changed.

I found it ironic, as some people consider Chinese women to be submissive to their husbands but the name changed was not forced into woman married to a Chinese man. All my sisters are still Miss Tee, only me is Mrs LB. I was told by a government servant that it would simplify my life if I adapt my husband's name.