Prinsessen Paa AERTEN


My lodging on Toftegards Alle' was more comfortable than the previous arrangement. I had two consistent roommates for the most part. There was a woman from China and a man from India who now lives in Brussels. I was glad to speak with a Chinese resident. We spoke sometimes and she was curious about childcare in the United States.

Having no children, I explained I was not the best person to speak with. She explained some of her difficulties with finding someone to watch her child because both she and her husband worked. I explained that childcare in the U.S. was also expensive and that most people of working class status relied on family members for help. She articulated the situation whereby her parents, being older, became tired after a few hours of entertaining the child. She showed me a video on her phone of her son eating broccoli and rice. He looked like a healthy young lad and I was happy to see he was eating his greens.

One day my Indian roommate explained that he enjoyed cooking and invited me to dine with him that night. I asked if there was anything I should retrieve from the market to contribute to the dinner. He explained that he would form the ingredients in his head and pick them up himself. We had a magnificent chicken curry with rice and I thanked him for the meal.

I spoke with my Chinese roommate about her concern with a babysitter. I explained that, years ago, I had worked the night shift at a home improvement department store with a man from Ireland. He had married an African-American women and they had a child. He took the job on the night shift so that he could watch their child when she was working.

My roommate informed me that she taught at a business school in China. I thought maybe she could suggest a daycare business model to one of her students. She told me her child's name and helped me pronounce it.

By this time a man from Norway had joined the apartment. Our Chinese roommate invited us to a family style Chinese meal at noon on Sunday. She cooked the meal with care as did the man from Brussels. There was even loose leaf green tea from China. The four of us gathered round to eat and talk.

The Norweigan was some type of engineer and showed me a project his company was working on. It was a floating fish farm for use in the open sea. He explained that it was a floating structure with netting in between. A thought occurred to me, and I explained that it would be great if they could design a way to transform the large floating island of plastic that has formed in the Pacific Ocean into the netting they need for the platforms.

My roommates seemed unaware of the mass of plastic that had formed in the ocean. Not meaning to offend, and unsure of the creditworthiness of my news source, I suggested it may possibly be propaganda. Cleaning up the ocean while building fish farms seems like a responsible marketing campaign for a burgeoning corporation.