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a train ride

September 4, 2013

After consuming approximately 5 baguettes (me), 4 croissants (Ali), way too many Starbucks lattes (Ali), and 2 more McDonald’s lattes (Ali – he has no shame), we rolled ourselves back on to the Eurostar for a 2.5 hour train ride back to London.

As soon as the train took off (and not one second after the planned departure of 13:13 – the timeliness of the Eurostar allows me to overlook the dirtiness of their trains) a mom, traveling with her 3 kids said, “Who has the playing cards? Let’s play cards.”

And so began our journey.

At the Eiffel...

At the Eiffel…

Me @ 13:15“Wow Ali, she’s playing cards with her kids. I wonder how she had the patience to do that? And how cute are their accents?”

Me @ 13:45“They are still going at it. Impressive. That’s a dedicated mother.”

Me @ 14:00“They could keep their voices down you know, some of us are actually trying to work.”

Me @ 14:15“It’s like nails on a chalkboard Ali. Nails on a chalkboard.”

Me @ 14:30“If that kid yells ‘You’re a cheat! You’re a cheat!’ one more time? I’m going to lose it.”

Me @ 14:35 “Make it stop Ali. Please make it stop.”

Ali @ 14:36“I’m moving to the dining car. Can you watch the luggage?”

Scones @ Le Pain Quotidien (London), Crab Salad at Laduree (Paris), Panna Cotta at Del Papa (Paris), Salmon at Sofra (London)

Scones @ Le Pain Quotidien (London), Crab Salad at Laduree (Paris), Panna Cotta at Del Papa (Paris), Salmon at Sofra (London)

While Ali likely enjoyed another latte in the peaceful dining car, sans my running commentary, the family continued to play cards at the top of their lungs.

Ultimately, they played cards for – are you ready for it? – 2.25 hours. And the mom participated the entire time.

At one of my favorite restaurants in London - Sofra

At Sofra, one of my favorite restaurants in London

The takeaway here? Maybe I’ll never, ever be able to play games with Maya for 2.25 hours (or for 5 minutes – let’s be honest here), but at least I don’t annoy strangers on a train.

And that counts for something.

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59 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2013 12:57 am

    i choked a bit after seeing the time stamps on your convo w/ Ali. it’s like talking to a wall and getting a response about something else at the end of it.
    on another note, your photo with your man and your kid is priceless. 🙂

    • September 4, 2013 10:13 am

      Talking to Ali is often like talking to a wall…he ignores 99% of what I say.

      Thank you for the kind words and the comment Katrrinna!

  2. September 4, 2013 1:46 am

    Wow, that’s one seriously patient mama! I played cards with a nephew yesterday. We didn’t even finish one game, and when he suggested another I said no, no, I only signed up for one, someone else’s turn!! :-/ Btw, you’ve raved about Sofra before as well, must try and visit while I’m here this time!

    • September 4, 2013 10:14 am

      Yes please try Sofra…it’s one of our favorite places. And that includes Ali and Maya. And that RARELY happens! 🙂

  3. September 4, 2013 2:29 am

    I hate mums like that- mostly because they have more than one child and can sit hours of play without ever losing it! Have been to Sofra many time specially to the one in St Christopher’s Place love the food!

    • September 4, 2013 10:15 am

      St. Christopher’s is our favorite place…was there again today!

      I wish I had the patience to play games. Or have another child?

  4. September 4, 2013 3:24 am

    Lovely pictures esp., the one with Maya.. When I was doing my post-grad, I had to travel all the way from Chennai to Delhi( my parents’ place) for holidays .The distance was about 2,000 km. Flights were expensive and I used to travel by train. The entire journey took 30 hours by train . Going by this post I guess you would have gotten off the train much much earlier than the destination…:)

    • September 4, 2013 10:15 am

      30 hours! You must have the patience of a saint. I am so impressed.

      I think I would have lasted a very short time. Unfortunately.

  5. September 4, 2013 4:01 am

    Love the fact that Ali escaped and left you holding the bag(s). Literally!! 🙂 I couldn’t play with my kids for that long either, no doubt. But I do wonder what her kids would have been doing if she hadn’t kept them occupied with cards, and whether that would have been more annoying to you than the loud card game???

    • September 4, 2013 10:16 am

      Yes, I was holding the bags. Literally. LOL

      Such a good point Mama D…who knows what they might have been doing otherwise? I never thought of that.

  6. September 4, 2013 4:11 am

    That mom is really dedicated cards player and way too patient! I wish I had that patience to play cards! Really nice photo of you and Maya. I bet it was nice to see her again 🙂

    • September 4, 2013 10:17 am

      It was nice to see her again! I took her to the park today to make up for my Paris trip.

      I lasted 2 hours in the hot sun. I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now. 🙂

  7. September 4, 2013 4:12 am

    That counts for a Lot, Ameena. I think the Mom deserves credit for actually engaging in an activity with the kiddos. So often I’ll see Moms talking to someone else, or on their cell phone, while the kids, on repeat, say, “Mom, Mom, Mom” and the Mom never answers. I’m so tempted to go over to them and say, “Excuse me, your child is talking to you, please answer him/her!” Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Seeing all of those scones is making me want to make some!! Travel Safe!

    • September 4, 2013 10:25 am

      I totally admire that mom, I really do. I’m just jealous and I’m trying to make myself feel better by complaining about something… 🙂

  8. September 4, 2013 5:43 am

    Ohhh I love Soffra! Although the hostess there yelled at me once for being late for a reservation!
    Patient mum indeed….although if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

    • September 5, 2013 2:45 pm

      They yelled at you? Really? I probably wouldn’t return!

      Although, their bread just keeps calling my name….

      • September 5, 2013 3:18 pm

        I didn’t! I even left London soon after although admittedly that had more to do with a new job than with being yelled at.

  9. September 4, 2013 7:23 am

    You always make me laugh! I have no idea how the mom was able to play cards for so long – we don’t even have kids yet and I can’t imagine. Love the pictures, as always 🙂

    I probably shouldn’t tell you this … but when we were in Paris, the best croissant we ate was from the McCafe in the Louvre. My excuse was that we were only there a day and a half. I feel ashamed just typing this …

    • September 5, 2013 2:46 pm

      Really? The best croissant? I am so surprised!

      Ali has no shame..and we were there for 3 days. You definitely should not feel ashamed! 🙂

  10. September 4, 2013 7:48 am

    I agree completely and your eats at both the places look soo good.

  11. September 4, 2013 8:52 am

    I played cards with my kids for I’d say an hour coming home from Croatia. It was so out of character, I couldn’t stop mentally praising myself (when I wasn’t criticizing the boys’ choices in gin rummy). Why the McD latte, why?

  12. September 4, 2013 9:53 am

    Where in the world were your Beats by Dre earbuds??? I would’ve said something to that mother.

    • September 5, 2013 2:47 pm

      I couldn’t get my songs to play – on my laptop OR on my iPhone. And my husband was of no help….

  13. September 4, 2013 10:16 am

    Man, don’t those kids have iPads? 🙂 Clearly, I’m not a card-playing parent, either.

    PS: All these fantastic food pictures are making me super envious. Next time, please eat a scone for me!

    • September 5, 2013 2:48 pm

      I ate another scone today…I think I’ve eaten enough scones for the entire Bay Area, not just you! 🙂

  14. September 4, 2013 10:59 am

    2.25 hours?! That IS some serious dedication!!
    I can’t stand playing a board game for more than 20 minutes, haha.

  15. Lydia permalink
    September 4, 2013 11:01 am

    Hahaha… oh my.. I could only imagine. Some people just have all the patience (and the oblivion!)… I play cards with my kids but only when we’re at home (usually every Friday nights) but not for 2.5 hours and not in public either!
    Clearly Ali has developed some latte problems 🙂

    • September 5, 2013 2:49 pm

      Ali has an addiction to lattes for sure. It has to be an exact formula though, and apparently the French version just doesn’t cut it for him…

  16. September 4, 2013 1:19 pm

    OMG… I actually think our hubbys will get along… he ate McDonalds in Barcelona and I was fuming!!! I get irritated with annoying kids because just like everyone, I think the kids in my family are so well behaved for the most part, and they shutup, at least the girls do. All the food looks amazing, especially the panna cotta…. ooh.. Greek. 🙂
    Sept 27, mark your calendar. 🙂

    • September 5, 2013 2:49 pm

      But the food in Barcelona was AMAZING! Even Ali liked it and didn’t resort to Mickey D’s.

      I’ve marked my calendar! So looking forward to it!

  17. September 4, 2013 2:28 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve been that family playing cards at least once. Although it would be on a plane, not a train. And that maybe makes it worse…

    • September 5, 2013 2:50 pm

      It’s not you…it’s me. Seriously, all sarcasm I think it’s amazing that mom (and yours) is capable of playing cards for so long. Amazing.

  18. September 4, 2013 2:48 pm

    I love the photos of you three. And the food?! Oh my. Not the McDonalds, of course 😉

    • September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

      No pics of Mickey D’s…I didn’t bother. 🙂

  19. September 4, 2013 9:20 pm

    Haha that mom deserves an award. Good thing it was only a 2.5 hour train ride. The worst is sitting next to chatty/loud kids on planes…even worse when they start crying.

    • September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

      She really does deserve an award. I’m still amazed!

  20. September 5, 2013 7:36 am

    lol thank you for not being ‘that mom’ i just want quiet when i travel or a casual conversation that ebbs and flows! #jealous of your bread consumption.

    • September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

      I just want quiet all the time – not just when I travel.

      One might ask why I have a child in that case? LOL

  21. September 5, 2013 8:39 pm

    I’m a pretty patient person generally but not at all while traveling. Might have to do with confined spaces and nowhere to escape to. I have a feeling the mother was sacrificing her time to keep her kids busy in order to make the journey tolerable for others. I find myself distracting my son a lot while we are out so I can prevent him from going nuts in public! Urgh motherhood is sooo much work!

    • September 12, 2013 5:59 pm

      The mother totally sacrificed her time. I had no idea how she did it! Wish I had it in me to be honest.

  22. September 5, 2013 11:01 pm

    2.25 hrs!!!!!!! Gosh! Hasn’t the woman heard of Tylenol ??? 2.25 hrs of sleep is good for her kids, for her, for strangers travelling along…….. I know, coz that’s how I lasted those 17+ hrs flights to India 😉 I’m against medication as first remedy for sickness, but for the larger benefit of mankind ? Totally for it, lol!

    • September 12, 2013 5:59 pm

      I was always tempted to give Maya medicine when we took off on long flights but I never did it…not sure why I couldn’t get myself to do it!

  23. September 6, 2013 12:16 pm

    that is some dedicated mom-ing. For eal. I mean I’ll pay a game but my attention span is no longer than 20 minutes before I start to feel like i should be doing something more productive, so make it quick.

    • September 12, 2013 6:00 pm

      20 minutes is a long time. I can’t do more than 5 before my attention starts fading away….

  24. September 7, 2013 1:39 pm

    2.5 hours? No way! I’ll never be that mom. EVER!
    It sounds like you had a wonderful time though. The food… oh the food. Looks and sounds AMAZING!

    • September 12, 2013 6:01 pm

      We had a fantastic time! Thanks for the compliments and for reading!

  25. September 7, 2013 11:41 pm

    I am not a card playing mama. 2.5 hours. Don’t think I can do that.

    Consider me your new fan. Great photos.

    • September 12, 2013 6:01 pm

      Thank you Lail! I appreciate the nice comment and I appreciate you reading. 🙂

  26. Shauna permalink
    September 8, 2013 10:51 pm

    What!!!???? Okay, but do you know any card games? I have to confess we are big card players here in this house. We just got through playing a couple of rounds of “I doubt it.” There is an adult name for this game too, I’m sure you can guess it…. 🙂 Cards are awesome, screaming kids make me want to shoot myself. I hear you on that. Love the photos. Love to read your blog always, take care,

    Shauna xo

    • September 12, 2013 6:02 pm

      I can play Uno. For a very short time. That’s all I have in me Shauna.

      I’ve said it a million times – I wish I was more like you!

  27. September 9, 2013 2:52 am

    (giggle). This is so adorably YOU, Ameena. 🙂

  28. September 10, 2013 10:53 pm

    Geez where was the ipad in all of this! This is so funny Ameena..and yes Amit would have reacted the same way Ali did..so I feel for ya 🙂

    • September 12, 2013 6:02 pm

      Such a good question? I wonder where the iPad was?

      Nice to know you can relate. 🙂

  29. September 10, 2013 11:31 pm

    Hey there, guess who? I know I’ve been a way a super long time. I just started blogging again, and I am just looking up my favourite bloggers :). Seems like you are having all sorts of wonderful adventures still, that makes me so happy. You’re looking fab as always.
    *kisses* Heavenly

    • September 12, 2013 6:03 pm

      Hi HH…so nice to see you commenting again. You’ve been missed.

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