Friday, June 15, 2012

Hugging the world.

That´s my motto. On Couchsurfing. They want you to create a motto, to put on your profile page, and I always find mottos kind of... awkward. But Hugging the world seemed real to me, especially after we accomodated our first Strangers/then Friends. And this week, I can proudly claim that we lived up to this motto to the fullest!

On Monday, our new friends from Singapor/Belgium arrived. I had written mails back and forth with their mom for quite a while, since she had asked me about sights in Cologne, and I had helped her. The step for them to just stay with us was a small one.

They had two fantastic kids, one big boy, who went to the footballcourt just with me and my boys, practically 20 minutes after he met us the first time, only being slightly shy, not sitting still for a second, but very eager and fun,

...and my boys adored him, like 5 year old boys adore 10 year old boys.(Oh, and that hairstyle? Yeah. My Miro. He went to kindergarten with that, three days in a row, and he ignored the laughter, proud little guy, while admiring his beauty in the mirror several times a day.)

I love having a full house.
I love it when Ronja, her friend from next door and her friend from next continent do fusion beads together, while I cook rice and my new friend tells me about housing prices in Singapor and we compare school systems.

I love it when Eva and Miro cuddle the sweet little sister, who was about the best behaved baby I have ever met. Seriously.
And Miro still can´t get over how small her feet were, and her fingers. He "measured" her, and then ran to me, everytime he found a new feature in her he hadn´t realized before. Eva, meanwhile, painted puppets on her hand and talked with a tiny voice, to entertain her. Can you tell my kids yearn for a little sibling?

I love it when we can add new fancy currency to our world map.

And this is... an Anklung. The Indonesian national instrument, as a miniature, for me to wear. Cool, right?

I love sitting on the sofa with Azra, exchanging youtube music videos while she´s nursing her baby, practically fulltime, just like I did with mine - though, sometimes I got to hold her sweetie, as well. I love it when we exchange wedding photographs and lovestories and talk about the musical education of our children while our husbands watch football together, drinking Belgium beer.

I have brothers and sisters all over the world, and I´m slowly getting to know all of them :)

And then, we had to say goodbye. And, about an hour later, we said Hello, to...
...two lively, intelligent and artistic girls from South Korea, who got really enthusiastic about our bread slicing machine and who came to Europe to look at modern art.

They weren´t interested in the Cathedral, or shopping, or anything touristic. They were interested in spending 8 hours in a sculpture park, and when they came back to us, they showed us all the pictures, and explained what makes it so special to them - and I adore people who have a passion.
Both of them study fine arts, and... a guest present, they made paper dolls for Eva and Ronja. Yep. They made them. They also made colorsheets from the Korean flag for my sons, who happily hung them in their rooms, and wrote our family name in Korean to add to our Couchsurfing wall, and this is it, right? This is so much cooler than any storebought present.

I can teach my kids about geography, I can send them to school or show them a map, or even a well-done documentation, but still... nothing is more memorable, more mind-altering than actually sitting at one table with real people, sharing meals, chatting about Kimchi and Sauerkraut and whether they are related or not and the different sorts of Tofu you can buy in Korea, and then changing to the price of university fees, and the conflict of a divided country and again, just like Kimchi and Sauerkraut, how close we really are.

They taught Eva and me to play chopsticks on the piano, four-handed. Eva and Ronja quickly befriended those two young girls, and they giggled together and cuddled and braided each others hair, and especially Eva enjoyed it a lot to practice her English - she really dares speaking now, and she´s becoming better and better with every Couchsurfer we get. and before they went, they invited Eva to visit them. Well, Eva now has invitations both to Singapore and SouthKorea...but we´ll still wait a little. Five years, maybe, even if it´s hard :)

Our Korean girls left this afternoon. So, that´s why I haven´t been blogging all week long.

Oh, and on Thursday...
...I read Russian fairytales in the library.

Given the fact that this attracted a lot of amazing, friendly new Russian moms, who hadn´t ever come to my reading sessions before and actually hugged me...
...and given the fact that my usual audience allready consists of kids who grow up not only with the german language, but with arabic, polish, turkish and portugese...

Well, I think I really, really hugged the world this week.

That moment after we finished our little matrioshkas, when my sons, and the little arabic boy, and the girl with the russian mom, and the girl with the portugese mom... when they got up, shaking their hips and singing Nossa, Nossa together... That was stellar. That was one to remember a lifetime.

I´m so tired, because I stayed up far too long every single night. I spoke more English than german, though my English now feels kind of tinted with an Asian accent.

But you know... I can fix that - with a dutch accent :) We´ll have a Dutch/German singer-songwriter duo staying with us, on Sunday and Monday.

Oh yeah... I love Couchsurfing-peek seasn in summer!


Without even listening to the lyrics - the spiraling key change around 2.35, the harmonies of course, and their generally euphoric, tinklingly happy style of playing matches my mood this week :)!

1 comment:

Creatrish said...

Hello i m back (and leaving in Chassagny, 20min South Lyon, Its great!) and I m so happy to read your very interresting post! All these people are fabulous! but your family is to sooooo it can only be great! xxxx