I wanted to blog about matters of import, but then this happened.

V and I attended a parents evening at Benji’s kindergarten. I had actually decided not to go because the last time I went the entire proceedings were dominated by a power-point presentation conducted in Cantonese and translated in whispers to the English-speaking parents. I ignored the notice, and handed it over to the kids as scrap paper for colouring (or “colournoon” as Mimi would have it) when Benji’s teacher reminded my helper about it when she went to pick him up. Under duress, I decided to attend, or rather delegated it to V since I was unwell that week. In the end, we both went.

We seated our arses on kid-sized chairs in the sports hall. There was to be a power-point presentation. The headmistress said: “Good evening everyone” and after a pause, some 50 sheepish parents chorused “Good evening” (probably not in synchrony as she would have liked). Then commenced an hour-long presentation on the new international curriculum (we were not aware there was an “old” one).

It was hilarious to see the behaviour of the parents as time went by. Starting with the Dear Husband, who covered his mouth not-so-subtly with his hand and whispered: “When will it end? This is like church.” Those in the front had to keep up a façade of deep interest, but you could see the back-benchers wilting. Two parents in front of us were shamelessly browsing the internet on their phones. Across the aisle, a couple of Indian ladies were bonding in not very soft tones.

Most shocking though was that some parents had brought children (despite being requested not to). And those children were sitting quiet as mice. The parents, though, not so much. When the presentation ended, most of us jumped up and rushed for the doors. Today, I got a form asking for volunteers for school events. Do I dare?