Three women, one table, a roasting hot June afternoon, stories with travel, children, and money in the background…
I was sitting over a piece of cheesecake, waiting for a friend I had not seen for a long time, when I noticed three queens of the autumn of life, successful women or – I do not want to sound rude – wives of successful man (it is hard to say) with glasses of sparkling spirits at the next table. Petit bourgeois from Poznań, sophisticated globetrotters, elegant women with designer bags. The theme of their afternoon debate was travelling abroad, or rather complaining about popular mainstream destinations. It was a heated discussion on the swarms of tourists on the Spanish coast, how Portugal is better, but actually, the views are a disappointment. The best one is Argentina, which one of them visited in the previous year – it was so wild, virgin, different from all those trite European destinations. France would do as a last resort, with a strong emphasis on ‘as a last resort’.
In a few minutes, I also learned that it does not make any sense to go to London for a weekend, because when you are leaving from Poznań, you are already thinking about the return. It does not make any difference that our child received their medical education there, graduating with honours, and the other offspring got a law degree and was buying an apartment in a prestigious district. Despite all those qualities, a weekend visit is a waste of time – our time and the time of our educated children working in international corporations with a view of London City.
I have always been wondering why people try so hard to make themselves feel more important, getting into a bragging match about which one is better, more, further, higher. The more I appreciate that my family and friends value wisdom (life wisdom, too), intelligence, time spent together, state of mind, not the account balance or possessions. I hope that one day, when I am talking with my friends over a glass of wine in a café one day, and a member of a generation which does not have a name or abbreviation yet hears us, they will not think we are spoilt old men, totally devoid of awe of everyday life.