Aiming to be happier families.

THE GOVERNESS DIARIES – Series 1, Episode 11 – Why you hold your nose?

“I vont tea.”

“I vont tea.”

[If you’re just checking in, and haven’t yet read the preceding episodes of THE GOVERNESS DIARIES, click on the link to the right under ‘recent posts’, where you will find them. If some of them are not there, you will find them in ‘THE GOVERNESS DIARIES’ under ‘categories’, just scroll down to whichever episode you missed.]

Before leaving Katja said that the children should not leave the hotel as “it is dangerous”, Vladimir had nodded but I said that we could not spend the whole day in a hotel room, we needed to have a break. They frowned and Vladimir said, “How will you mange with them both?” I smiled and said, “They know they have to hold my hand at all times and they know that if they don’t behave I will bring them straight back.” The two of them still looked a little unsure but conceded. They left and I took Nikoli and Lina, who by the way, seemed genuinely happy to see me, to breakfast. This was the first time I had been in public with the two of them, apart from tennis.

Breakfast was a self-serve affair, like in many hotels. I am pretty used to good hotels, and can’t say I was terribly impressed with this one. It is supposed to be a four (and a half) star, but I would rate it on a par with some of the 2 and 3 star Holiday Inns I have seen in other countries. They could have definitely done with a good chef. The mushrooms were like misshapen squash balls – and yes I checked, they did bounce, but then in comparison to my minus-five-star, it was heaven.

Nikoli, on the other hand, was obviously not used to good hotels. We were shown to a table and he promptly jumped up and rushed off to the buffet, piling his plate with chocolate Danish, croissants, muffins and five tubs of nutella. These were promptly returned and he was told to sit on his chair and I would bring him breakfast. He then sat down, tucked his napkin in the neck of his jacket, grabbed a waitress and said, “I vont tea.”

The waitress, who was Russian (I see a conspiracy here) started to rush off to get his lowness some tea, but I called her back, apologised and informed her that he didn’t really vont tea.

And so it began…English tutor exited left stage, Mary Poppins entered from right.

I had them both remove their jackets, sat them down, placed their napkins on their laps and told them that children:

  • do not order from waiters or waitresses, they were to tell me and I would order
  • do not talk in loud voices
  • do say thank you when anything is served to them either by me or waiters or waitresses
  • do not leave their seats until everyone has finished eating

Nikoli        “But zere are too many people here. We can’t wait for zem all to feeneesh.”

I then went to the buffet and brought them fruit juice, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. After that I brought them bread rolls cheese and hams (reminding them to say ‘thank you’) When they had finished that, I got up and Nikoli asked me what I was getting, “Croissants, and nutella,” I replied

Nikoli:       “What eez zeez kwasson?”

Me:           “What are croissants.”

Nikoli        “What are kwasson?”

Me:           “Those pastries I made you put back. Croissant is a French word and when you say it, you hold your nose (demonstrating) – Croissant.”

Nikoli:       “Why you hold your nose?”

Me:           “So you say it like the French do,” I turned to go and get them.

Nikoli:       “Deni…. I don’t vont… (holding his nose) Kwasson my stomach is too full.”

Me:          (evil smirk) “Tea?”

Nikoli:       “Yes”

Me:          “Yes please”

Nikoli:       “Yes please.”

Lina had spent the whole episode with a blank look on her face, staring into the distance and just chewing. I had to keep telling them both to chew with their mouths closed as it felt like I was watching a load of washing in front-loader. Breakfast survived, I took them up to the room to brush their teeth and hair before taking them out for a stroll to (where else but) Buckingham Palace.

On the way there, Nikoli suddenly jerked my hand and pulled me towards him.

Nikoli:       (in a loud whisper) “Deni!”

Me:          “Yes?”

Nikoli:       (trying to pull me to his other side) “Come zis side.”

Me:         “Why?” He made dramatic eye movements pointing to my left where a black man was walking alongside me. I raised my eyebrow at Nikoli.

Me:          (addressing the black man) “Hiya, how you doing?” (Nikoli horrified)

Black guy: “I’m good yeah?”

Me:          “Nice day.”

Black guy: “Yeah, innit” Nikoli was not happy.

Me           “What’s wrong?”

Nikoli:       “You talk to black man.”

Me:          “Yes, Nikoli, I did. Is that a problem?”

Nikoli:       “He can steel your sings.”

Me:          “Perhaps, but so can the white man next to you. Not all black men steal and not all white men don’t. You need to be careful, but not rude.”

As we got closer to Buckingham the throngs of people became more dense. Lina was vacantly plodding along beside me doing little ballet steps and tripping over constantly. Every now and then she would say, “We go London yes?” To which I would reply, “We are in London.” Nikoli skulked on the other side of me looking at his feet most of the time.

It just so happens, that it was ‘changing guards’ day and once we got close, we ended up with no choice but to carry on as the police herded us along. I held both children’s hands tightly and told Nikoli not to let go.

The next thing, his hand slipped from mine and when I looked down he wasn’t at my side. I turned around in every direction but couldn’t see him, “NIKOLI!” He was nowhere to be seen. I turned around, gripping Lina’s hand as she pirouetted and bounced. “NIKOLI!!”.

A  hand tapped me on my back and when I turned around, there he was laughing, he had been behind me all the time. I put my nose on his and said in my most serious teacher voice. “Do not do that ever again, do you hear me?” His eyes went as big as poached eggs, I guess I must have looked scary.

With a bit of jostling, I managed to get them right to the front of the crowd. Nikoli actually enjoyed the ceremony and stood grinning like an organ-grinder’s monkey. As we were leaving, the brass band inside the palace gates was playing a tune I couldn’t quite place. “Deni!” Nikoli shouted with glee, “Zey are playing Star Wars song!” Lina was twirling and arabesqueing on everyone’s toes.

Next episode – the finale




22 April 2013 - Posted by | The Governess Diaries | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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