Friday, 21 June 2013

Sameness & Difference

After a fortnight of soaking up the Spanish sunshine (see, there was a reason for my silence!), I've noticed Squeaky's hit a milestone I'd not really thought that much about before - Questioning Difference.

A couple of (quite loud) examples from the last few days.  "Mummy, that little girl's got a brown face!"  Now, Squeaky's had plenty of contact with people from different ethnic backgrounds, and sees more again on TV.  And the little girl in question was Spanish with beautifully tanned olive-toned skin, so hardly a massive difference, but enough that *this* was the child Squeaky commented on, and enough to lead us into the whole "People are different, they can have different hair colour, eye colour & skin colour, but they're all just as nice" conversation.  She went back to fishing for seashells in the pool with that girl a couple of minutes later, so I'm chalking that up to successful parenting.

Then, the following day.  "Mummy, why's that boy got pictures on him?"  (The boy being a 30-something man with a shaved head & impressive tattoo collection)  Again, she's seen tattoos before, I've got one myself, but she's suddenly noticing things, and I'm finding myself in the middle of difficult conversations I'd rather not have in public.  The tattoo owner took it with good humour, and I think was secretly flattered to have been called a boy.

Same Difference. Not them.

As for me, rather than difference, I've been noticing similarities.  Our hotel seems to be quite popular with Spanish people as well as Brits, which has given me a bit of an insight into how little we actually vary.

  • Old ladies the world over stop dead still in doorways, blocking everyone else's movements. And then give you nasty looks for trying to get by.
  • 9 year old boys, individually, are shits. En-masse, they are truly a thing of nightmares
  • Everyone ignores the sign saying you can't take food out of the restaurant, no matter how many languages it is written in.
  • 3 year olds, given their own way, would all prefer to exist on a diet of chips. tomato sauce & ice-cream.  And know precisely how to time a tantrum for best public embarrassment. 

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