“I am going back to Bra-silll”
It was the first time I’d heard her say a sentence long enough for me to notice her South Brazilian accent. We see her at the train station every afternoon, handing out “free peepah (paper)” to commuters.
A couple of months ago, little R was running around the house, yelling “peepah, peepah” with a bunch of papers in her hand. She was imitating the newspaper girl at the train station. Since then, we always stop by and interact with the paper girl.
Every afternoon it is the same routine. The paper-girl gives little R a newspaper and calls her “my gorgeous”, the latter bringing a shade to crimson to little miss’ cheeks. A smile lights up her beautiful face. I’ve never been able to get her to say “Thank you” to the paper girl but she happily waves “baa-baayyee” after grabbing her copy of the paper.
Some days it’s someone else handing out papers. We stop by for a copy but we miss the cheery act and the dramatic interaction that we get from our usual friend. She makes the little kids happy. The other day, I saw a cute little boy plant a kiss on her cheek. She clearly loves the kids and they love her.
So, it was with a heavy heart we came home the day we learnt that she was going back to Brazil. She asked R for a kiss, as always, and when she didn’t get one, she just planted a kiss on R’s cheek anyway. R said a few words which she didn’t understand.
“She is going to miss you“, I said.
“I know! I am going to miss all my beautiful baybees“, she said in her sing-song voice.
Babies are like dogs. They make friends with people just by being cute. As a parent, you end up interacting and making connections with random strangers who just want to stop and say hello. R may not realise it yet but she will miss the compliments. I will miss the girl who taught my daughter one English word in her Brazilian accent and introduced a ‘newspaper stop’ in her going-home routine.
I spoke to the girl who was in her place yesterday.
“Oh, Camilla? Yeah, yeah, she is still around. She must be collecting (papers). She hasn’t left to Brazil yet. Friday is her last day. You will see her tomorrow. Did you want to give her a message?”
At last, I know her name. We will miss you, pretty newspaper girl Camilla in the red MX jacket and black trousers!