¿Qué es esto?

Sometimes those little things that make you smile are the things that make your day! I found that to be the case on Monday while travelling over nine hours back to Madrid after spending the weekend in Girona. I had a cold and was feeling kinda tired and hoping to get lots of rest on the bus. We stopped in Barcelona and the two seats right in front of me were taken by a young mother and her two year old daughter. Samantha, or Sammy, as I was soon to find out. She was adorable! She was at that delightful age where all a child wants to do is learn. Time to discover the world around her – by observing everyone and everything and asking her mother, “¿Qué es esto?”. The mother would reply: “Una ventana” or “un camión” or “una bicicleta” to which Sammy responded “ah, cleta…y qué es esto Mami? Maaami – ¿qué es esto?” “Un árbol”, was the answer. I loved just listening to the two of them. Amazing how much a child has to learn – how much vocabulary! Being in the process of learning Spanish myself, I could completely understand how she felt! There had been countless times when I’d been dependent on fluent speakers for information – I wonder if their patience was ever tried in answering my questions…I heard the mother exclaim, “No seas tan pesada!” But she said so lovingly, and continued to answer the unceasing questions.

A while later the girl turned around and poked her curly head over the back of the chair to say hello. She looked at me for a while, apparently trying to decide what to make of me. I suppose I won her favour because she soon began to ask me some of the same questions she had asked her mother, who was now trying to get some sleep. I marvelled at how Samantha kept herself occupied and only started to whine a little after more than six hours! Watching her, I jotted down in my journal what I shall call: Sammy’s creative ideas for a journey para que no sea aburrido =)

  1. get to know the people travelling with you – to get their attention you can smile, throw your doll’s shoe at them or just start chatting
  2. make good use of your time by learning new things – like vocabulary – by asking the people around you the names of objects until you know them (or until they fall asleep)
  3. play various games with tissues (or clean diaper) like
    – throw a tissue at the person behind you and ask them to throw it back
    – play peek a boo by covering your face with the tissue
    – wipe your nose with a tissue, then your mom’s face, then the window – it looks kinda dirty…
  4. sing funny children’s songs and teach them to your fellow travellers (like chu chu ua and pio pio pio)
  5. sleep (might work better without drinking coca cola though…)
  6. eat lots of yummy snacks and lunch – ¿qué es esto? Un bocadillo!

Children really are such precious gifts!
Wishing everyone travelling just now a safe journey – and don’t forget Sammy’s ideas if you don’t want it to get boring =)

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