donderdag 23 oktober 2014

The Father Slave

Every men I know accept their role as a chauffeur, a handy man, a financier, a study coach for the children and as the one who is buying the more heavy stuff needed in the household. And of course men are quite happy with ordering food and drinks for the family while being on a holiday. Somehow the husband and father should have knowledge of every language. The family counts on him!
Sometimes you see things and you will think: I would never be like this!
One day at the ferry between Hook of Holland and Harwich I saw a scene that made me think like this.
At a table in the restaurant of the ferry I saw a woman that was very overweight with a red face and three extra chins. Next to her were two fat teenage children, a boy and a girl. Because their features were almost exactly like hers there was only one conclusion possible: a mother and her two children. Because of their overweight they couldn’t sit properly; they were sort of hanging in their seats, their bellies almost at the same height as their heads. The kids were playing with their mobile phones and mother was looking around bored and now and again drumming with her fingers on the table. She was waiting and was getting impatient, that was very obvious.
I could almost hear him sigh and he walked back to the counter. The boy shouted at him that he should bring some extra salt along.After some time a skinny man appeared with a tray on which three plates filled with chips and hamburgers. He had managed to put three glasses of cola next to them. He served the three fat persons and took six satchels of mayonnaise out of his pockets. I could overhear the woman saying that she was very disappointed: she didn’t want a cola! Of course not! He could have thought about getting her a wine. The girl joined in: she had wanted a seven-up.
He brought what they asked of him and a plate with a sort of curry, meant for himself. The three were already devouring their hamburgers and I expected that they would let him enjoy his meal. But no, the woman gulped down her wine and wiggled the empty bottle in front of his eyes. He just nodded and got a new one for her and a beer for himself. There was a long line in front of the cashier, so it took him quite a while. In the meantime the children had finished their meal and just walked away without a word. The woman watched him eat his meal that must have been almost cold and gulped down the wine again. When it was gone she walked away too, without a word.
After he was done I saw him bringing away the plates. You are expected to do such: it is a self service restaurant. He had to walk two times to get rid of everything.
Then I saw him bending down to the floor. He picked up two lady purses and a sort of sports bag.
He dragged it all along out of the restaurant in the direction the fatso’s disappeared. I thought I had seen it all, but he came back one more time. He was searching for something on the floor and found it. A pair of sunglasses; regarding the shape and the colour (pink and purple), it was obviously not his own.
When I left the ferry the next day, I saw the family again. The three fat persons strolled slowly in the lift and he walked behind them with two backpacks and the sports bag on his shoulders and dragging a heavy suitcase on wheel along. He had to rush to get in in time. The doors closed on the suitcase and he had to pull it through.
Whenever I feel unhappy about my family I always think of this family and feel a lot better immediately.

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