It was purely by chance that we ended up on Young Avenue in Halifax, which has only one apartment building (ours). The rest of the residents live in beautiful large houses, each unique, with incredible gardens all around them, full of pink and fuschia rhodedendrons, red and yellow tulips and green green grass lawns. Lots of and lots of treees, some of them with red leaves that I had never seen before and look astounding. I later saw that this particular avenue was mentioned in a tourist guide in Halifax, a must-see for the collection of houses, some of which look like castles, built with grey stone and boasting round turrents, some of them modernistic with stylish roofs and doors, all of them very very beautiful. Not all the streets and avenues in Halifax look like this, of course, many are filled with wooden semi-detached villas, but even those are a nice change from the endless concrete apartment blocks in Tehran.
This post isn’t about bragging about the area, it is about the unfortunate effects of living in this area with children. In Tehran, all of the people we frequented lived in grubby flats like ours, and so my worldly daughter hadn`t noticed much difference between our living quarters and those of other peoples. Even upper class areas in Tehran these days are polluted and congested, and look out on roof tops and concrete and asphalt. A few months ago, my daughter had asked me why her grandfather`s flat was so much bigger than ours, and why did they have more bedrooms. To which I had cleverly responded that because he has more children, and we had started counting them. Sometime after that she asked point-black whether grandfather was richer than us. To which I answered, well…grandfather and grandmother have both worked for a much longer time than mummy and daddy, so yes, I suppose they are richer. But that is not important. And what is important ?? That I love you…
And now, these days my daughter is walking back and forth to daycare everyday, looking at these wonderful houses and their gardens and their cars, and wondering and questioning.
-Look at that huge one Mumy! It really looks like a castle…
-Yes, it does…
-It has so many rooms! What do they put in all those rooms?
-I don`t know…
-Do you think they are all empty?
-No- it is pretty easy to get stuff to fill rooms in.
-So do you think all the rooms are stuffed? How do you think they clean all these room?
-These people, they probably have enough money to have servants to clean the house for them (lame, wrong answer!! Steer away from money topics!!)
-Oh- when I live in a big house, I`m too kind to tell servants to clean it for me. I`ll clean them myself!
-That`s because you`re the sweetest, loveliest girl on earth, and I love you so much!
No use. Back to topic at hand.
-Mumy, how do some people get to be rich?
-Eeeemmm, well some people have money in their family. Like their grandfathers had money and their grandmothers, and later gave it to them. And some people work at very special jobs which make a lot of money.
-I`m going to be rich when I grow up, and buy a house like that one. Why can`t we have garden for ourselves? I want so much to have a garden to play in. Why don`t you or daddy work at those special jobs? What are the special jobs?
-darling, we could have a house -not as big as that- if we wanted. Its just that we are not sure if we are going to live in Halifax for a very long time, and there is no use in buying a house in a place we are not sure we want to live in.
-When will be sure that we want to live in Halifax?
-Eeeeemmmmmm….when we get jobs in here????
Was that the right answer??