Before the course started we chatted a bit. Everybody started to ask me about Nina (=my coworker), if she did fly to New Zealand. I started to explain that I was so happy for Nina - since it was her first travelling outside Europe.
Obviously the young specialist did not know who Nina was, he wanted to be nice and to be part of the conversation so he asked me: "Who is Nina? Your daughter?"
I remained speechless for a second, but then I said the very first thing that came on my mind. I said to him: "Now you offended me."
He looked puzzled and said: "I don't understand."
I replied: "Yes, you are very young, so you don't understand."
Needless to say that my reply created a really awkward atmosphere. Silly me, why couldn't I just reply "No, she is my coworker"?
The reality is that even if I am 43, I still mourn the babies I never had. I still imagine myself with toddlers. And it is very cruel to be reminded that I don't look young any more.
When I told this to friends my age one of them replied that I really could have a daughter who would be travelling the world already. If I had her when I was 20, she would be 23 now.
But my calculation was different: the average age of woman in my country when she has a firstborn is 29. When the child can afford to go travelling to the other part of the world, he/she needs a regular income, which is after the graduation from university, which is like 24. So whoever tells me that I look 10 years older then I am, offends me.
New Zealand has been on my top favourite travelling wish list, especially since I met Mali. This is such a lovely way to travel - when travelling includes meeting people that are close to your heart.