Showing posts from October, 2013

Don't follow us, we'll follow you

by Andrea Mulder-Slater I have a pretty terrific imagination, and by that I mean I can be a wee bit paranoid. It is this innate bent towards suspicion that recently drove me to convince my entire family that we were being followed while visiting a small town in The Netherlands. It all began when, while exiting a shoe store, I passed two smartly dressed men wandering through the narrow streets. I’m a visual person. I notice things. No more than 10 minutes later, I walked into a clothing shop to look at jackets. There again, were the men. The cheese shop, the bakery, the electronics store. The men. At first, I chalked it up to coincidence. But later, when I spotted them right beside my mother, my 4-year-old and I in the supermarket, I began to feel nervous. No, that’s not true. I FREAKED THE F*#K OUT. Me : Psssst . My mother (intrigued): What?! Me :  Don’t look now but I think those men are following us. Mom (believing me immediately): Okay, where are they? Me (tu

Sleep tight

by Andrea Mulder-Slater Geoff, Jan, the 4 year old and I are visiting Holland. It’s the birthplace of both of my parents… a country where everything feels familiar, and most every face I see, is like looking in a mirror. It’s a country where my possibly abnormal devotion to all things black and brown makes perfect sense. Also, you can buy croquettes from vending machines. Croquettes! The shopkeepers address me in Dutch. I nod for a while before realizing I only understand half of what they say, and can only reply in English. I smile and tell them so. They say,   “But you look so Dutch!” It’s a compliment, I think. Which was not so much the case when a boy named Dave used to call me “Dutchie” in high school. Of course, he also called me “Inga, from Sweden”. And sometimes: “that cute but dopey girl”. On second thought, maybe he was flirting with me. I was never very good at picking up on signals, mostly because I was usually too tired to think straight. The thing is, I

Stop me if you've seen this one before

by Andrea Mulder-Slater There was a major crisis at our house this morning. We’re all okay, but are still reeling from the impact. I’ve since had a chance to regroup and am now able to talk openly about the ordeal. Here’s what happened… I couldn’t find my carry-on luggage. My bag was missing. Gone. For an entire hour and a half. I accused everyone in the house of stealing it. And then, I found it. The thing is, we’re about to embark on a trip that we’ve been planning for almost a year. And as a result, I’ve been impossible to live with. You know, more than usual. Full disclosure. I’m a terrible traveler. Mostly because I’m a wee teensy bit anxious. Case is point: This is me, in the car, at the beginning of a journey… “Did we lock the door?”  “Do I have my wallet?”  “Is there a roll of paper towels in the car?”  “Who has the house keys?”  “Did someone grab that red container I set by the door?”  “Is it sitting upright in the back?”  And that’s just a 20 min