On Friday, Mr Waffle recovered from his life threatening sore throat and we went to Beloeil. It was lovely. We had the place to ourselves and the Princess could crawl at will over the Aubusson carpets. She also made a spirited effort to crawl into a number of the water features in the extensive grounds. In a further burst of energy, Saturday saw us heading off to Lille. We had a lovely lunch where the Princess was surrounded by adoring waitresses who entertained her, heated her lunch and ran down the street after her with the various soft toys which she had left strewn on their restaurant floor. After this excitement she, very obligingly, fell asleep allowing her parents an opportunity to admire the glories of Lille in peace. And finally, just as we reached our car it started to rain, having been beautifully fine up to then. Two perfect days- it just couldn’t last.
Saturday night we bought tickets for a lateish cinema showing and went to dinner. The film started at 9.40 and we only arrived at 9.45. The ever punctual (except when he’s with me) Mr. Waffle was tense. “Don’t worry, we’ll only miss trailers” I said. The film had started. It was the new Almodovar flick. We knew we were in the right film because there were Spanish speaking transvestites on screen. But the reviews I had read said it was about catholic schoolboys. Confusing. It was good but hard to follow. Obviously missing the first five minutes had made all the difference. After half an hour, it ended. I whispered to Mr. Waffle “see, I was right, it hadn’t started, that was obviously a short”. “Well then why is everyone leaving?” he hissed. It appears that we had inadvertently bought tickets for the 8.20 showing and when we arrived at 9.40 the idiot usher had sent us to that rather than the later showing. Suggestions that there are other idiots involved are unhelpful at this juncture. So, here we were. I was all gung ho to go to the 9.40 version but Mr. Waffle wouldn’t go “we’ve missed the first half hour, we’ve seen the last half hour and I’m not going for the half hour in the middle.” I seethed with impotent rage but I was forced to concede that he had a point.
We arrived home and I was still seething. It was my turn to drive the babysitter home and her innocent question as to how we enjoyed the film was met with a full description of our woes. When I had finished, I drew breath and asked how things were with her.
“Not so good. I was supposed to go to the Philippines for a month in June but now two of my employers won’t give me time off”
She is a middle aged lady with a husband and two teenage children in the Philippines. She works for three different families in Brussels and has been here 18 years. She has only seen her children once or twice a year since they were small. She hasn’t been home since Christmas.
“That’s terrible” I said.
“Yes,” she said “and it’s my 50th birthday on June 6 and my 25th wedding anniversary on June 24th and we had lots of things planned. I have to ring my husband tomorrow to tell him I can’t come.”
“Could he come to visit you here?”
“No, he can’t get a visa.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“This is my life.”
I came home to a sleeping husband and baby a chastened woman. Lucky me.
That happens to immigrants the world over I suppose. A recent case of nanny-abuse is hitting the headlines over here. What a life!
Know what you mean, ‘waffle…Is trom cearc i bhfad… 😉
On the missed film front, I thought you might like to know that “Lost in Translation” has finally come out on video.