How I met the Panda Woman

Written by Katerina, CZ

China UNlimited___

“When I was a child, approximately ten years old, I went to a fancy little fair in Brussels near Gare du Midi. I found my first panda teddy bear there, I spent money to buy it to sleep with it in my bed,” the brunet lady is telling me the story standing in the door of her very nice house. Her name is Laurence and certainly not only for me she is the Panda Woman.

Laurence is 48 years old, works in nursery as a secretary and has two children, two girls. As she told me, both love the giant pandas as well. One of the most wonderful moments in her life was the trip to China. “When I was forty years old I went to China in Chengdu with WWF to better understand how the giant pandas grow up and give the birth, which is so difficult in an artificial environment, as it was proved by research. And imagine I had a chance to carry in my own arms one little panda baby. It was amazing,” the youthful looking woman remembers her dream trip to China.

Little treasures

Why I called her the Panda Woman? Because from that moment at the little flea market in Brussels she felt in love with the giant pandas and became a big fan of these black-and-white extremely protected bears. Since that moment she has been collecting all the stuff with the motif of the panda bear.

My name is Katerina, I am on maternity leave and since last year I have lived in Brussels with my husband and our little boy Filip. Every time I was passing the house with blue windows and the statues of panda bears behind them I was curious who lives there. And why he or she exposes these statues?

Few days ago I have finally gained enough courage and dared to ring the bell and with full of anticipation I was waiting who opened the door. I was lucky. Laurence, one tiny dark-haired woman, was at home and asked me how she can help me.

So I told her why I am standing in front of her house. “You know you´re not the only one who takes pictures of my windows. Besides those displayed statues, I have dozens of other little pandas, sometimes also very small ones. Some of them are made by Swarovski crystal. Maybe in total amount of all things I might have 3000 items,” she answered. She has been collecting really everything: small statues, pictures, small decorative things, teddies, clothes, toys, bed sheets, clocks, calendars, art pieces and you can even find picture of panda on the mat. Just every little piece means treasure for her.

Pandas are everywhere

After few minutes she invited me in to have better image about what we were talking about. It was breathtaking. The giant pandas were everywhere: in living room, in the kitchen, above the stairs, on the walls. One thing surprised me the most. The toilet room seems like a little panda cave. All the stuff – from the tiles over the toilet seat to toilet paper – everywhere you can find the motif of the giant panda. “Ones we were with my husband in Turkey, walking on the street and suddenly we found a shop with all sanitary stuff. There I saw something, what I had not seen until then – the toilet seat. I am very proud of my toilet room. I like it very much.”

Sometimes she found little present in her post box. “From time to time I receive present from the person living in the neighborhood. Sometimes it is a little panda or a postcard. Every time I put back the paper to answer and say Thank you to that person. Today you cannot meet lots of these people who give you a gift without any expectations,” she admits.

Laurence has one big dream. She would like to visit China again to have another chance meeting the giant pandas. (Images of Laurence and her panda bears you can find in photo section of this competition.)

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

Second Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearing: impact on privacy, voting and trust

Eurozone: Disinflation engulfs the industrial goods sector

How Abu Dhabi found a way to grow vegetables in 40-degree heat

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

Trust is at breaking point. It’s time to rebuild it

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

China, forever new adventures

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

UN chief commends African Union on adoption of institutional reforms

Long-term EU budget: MEPs lay down funding priorities for post-2020 budget

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

UN chief applauds Bangladesh for ‘opening borders’ to Rohingya refugees in need

“What a Wonderful World”: the unsettled relationship between Climate Change and Human Health

Trade Committee advocates lower tariffs in Western Sahara

Why impoverishment and social exclusion grow in the EU; the affluent north also suffers

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

It’s down to cities to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030

Can the Americans alone determine the future of Syria?

Income inequality threatens the socio-political structures in developed countries

Continue ‘their mission’ urges UN chief, as the victims of the Baghdad bombing are remembered, 15 years on

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

Telecommunications and Internet: A Jungle with no principles?

European Youth Forum and youngest MEPs call on President Juncker to keep his promise to Europe’s youth

China repels EU allegations of export subsidies

It’s time to ditch our obsession with trade deficits. Here’s why

The European Council takes more measures to stem illegal migration

This is the world’s biggest mental health problem – and you might not have heard of it

The time for cities to get smart is now

Terror attacks strike people ‘from all walks of life, the UN included’

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

3 important lessons from 20 years of working with social entrepreneurs

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

Iraq: Security Council told ‘despair’ has ‘given way to hope’ but road to stability ‘long and far from easy’

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Cameron corroborates that Britain should remain in the EU

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

LED lights could stop turtles and birds from drowning in fishing nets

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s