school starts tomorrow.

First of all, thank goodness. We did enroll Talky in a summer sports camp for the previous couple of weeks. He hated it. I still have no clue why. So far he’s always loved everything involving other kids. I guess the pace (compared to SA) was quite slow, the kids too calm & quiet, the coaches not inspiring and fun enough.

Secondly, I do miss school uniform. As much as I love having options in life, what to wear for school today discussion is not on my wish list. The choice for a backpack was an army pattern one, I’m afraid.

Thirdly, I wonder how on earth we are going to cope with a one hour travel to school and back, including tram, metro and bus. Especially when our soon 10 year old, who has been used to be driven everywhere, still has a lot catching up to do with his how to walk in a city skill. A basic skill every Finnish child masters by age seven.


The school days are short. Like really short. From 9 am until noon. Bad bad bad combination with a non-city-walking-ready child.

Oh, and there are no extra murals organised by the school. All the fun, including transportation, will be done by parents, during evenings and weekends. I’ve contacted a swimming club. No response [whaat – I thought this habit was reserved for Capetonians]. We thought Talky would like track & field, especially running. Doesn’t seem like that is happening, thanks to the booooring summer camp. In any case, he most likely is academically quite a bit behind his classmates, meaning we’ll solely focus on maths, reading and writing for the next five months. Not only is he coming from one of the worst education systems in the world, but also skipping half a grade: mid grade 3 will become grade 4. He’ll love it. Not.

Finnish kids are quiet. There is very little shouting and yelling. I think there is very little excitement, laughing and joking, too. It’s like everything and everybody is dead serious. Yes, the kids behave better than our loud one, but somehow to me many of them look and sound almost medicated.

I miss Kronendal. I miss the short walk to the school, hearing kids having fun during breaks. I miss the idea of camp outs, swimming galas, and birthdays in civvies. Movie Saturdays and Freaky Fridays. I miss the feeling of belonging and being part of something.

I don’t miss frantically going though my wallet in the morning desperately looking for that 10 rand note for whatever cause mentioned in previous weeks stimulus. I do not miss packing lunch, nor do I miss hunting those always disappearing slips.

Tomorrow will be exciting. For all of us. Luckily, the class – an English class in an ordinary Finnish primary school – will be a diverse one with many new and non-Finnish kids. Nonetheless, a culture shock for sure.

Ps. That not-my-favourite golden chain necklace has once again disappeared. Feeling a bit guilty, hoping it’s already been forgotten. Some day Talky will understand why I didn’t want him to show up as a black-gangster-meets-rapper first day in a new school.


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