"We visited Marie-mum and Oom Peeta at least once a year. I sort of dreaded those visits. She always had stale Paulin's baby biscuits for when people would come visiting for Sunday faspa. The old people would dunk them in their coffee. She’d have a special “treat” for us kids; sugar free Fresca. Dad said Oom Peeta had sugar disease and couldn't drink anything else.
We always tried to show our respect when we went for a visit, mainly because they were very old and came from Russia. I thought they must have been at least 100 years old but they were probably 50. Marie-mum was very hard of hearing and used what they called, a schaptje.
It kind of scared us kids. We thought it something that they must have used to spank kids in Russia. I found out that it was actually called a hearing trumpet. Funny thing was; Marie-mum never needed the schaptje to listen to Oom Peeta. I remember Oom Peeta talking very loudly while she calmly kept knitting (almost as if he wasn’t there). Strange as it may seem, I sort of miss those stale Paulin's biscuits and sugar free Fresca. And Oom Peeta and Marie-mum too. I don’t know why……"
Plautdietsch word of the day: schaptje
Directly translated: a scoop, or dipper.
What it means in the context of the story: A hearing aid. A more common "schaptje" was a dipper that was used in the milk-house to dip drinking water from the cistern. Other kinds of dipper: Groote schaptje: the big dipper. Tjliene schapjte: the little dipper.
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