Sunday, 26 January 2014

All the small things

Living in a country that inhabits the world's tallest citizens, with the government being forced to make the height of doorways taller in order to accommodate their ridiculously long limbs, the Dutch inevitably find my vertical shortcomings something of a novelty. I live with two Dutch children and on more than one occasion they have both greatly enjoyed reminding me of my miniature stature. These cover a spectrum of compliments that range from pointing out that I am still eligible to be measured on the children's height chart in the five-year-old's classroom, (scoring Giraffe was no consolation) to being asked by the eleven-year-old whether there were 'more of my kind' where I come from. And the parents are no exception to this as they speculated as to whether I would qualify for an under twelve's pass at the local Chinese buffet. In this land of giants, nothing is geared towards the small and there are few things more embarrassing than straining in front of two children to reach a cup from the back of the middle shelf in the cupboard. Not even the top shelf; the middle. Except of course employing the help of a little stool in order to reach a cup from the back of the middle shelf in the cupboard. They find it particularly amusing, unfortunately. It's not ideal to only be able to see my eyebrows in the bathroom mirror whilst brushing my teeth either.

But it's not all bad. I think probably the most impressive thing to have happened as a result of my height is the game that the school children have devised in my honour. It consists of pointing to objects and asking the other players whether I am shorter or taller than the stated object. I've taken the liberty of giving it the name 'The Height is Right'. I'm worried it might catch on. Let's just pray that they never get a glimpse of my 4ft 11 mother in case they literally fly into a hobbit induced frenzy.

It is just a matter of days before the eleven-year-old exceeds my height and when this occurs I think it is time for me to move on, or never hear the end of it. It's sad but, really, how can you expect to maintain the respect of those you are in charge of when having to crane your neck in order to deliver your authority to their chin? Luckily there is still the five year old. Oh wait, he's exceptionally tall for his age, according to the national averages, and already reaches my armpit. Although, I'm sure I could be using that to my advantage...

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