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  #21  
Old 05.05.2012, 17:34
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

I can't see where OP stated that her kids were running all over the place, totally unattended, ripping things off shelves etc.

Sometimes I come across people who give young parents with many children below 5 ("many" kids in Switzerland = >2) nasty looks aka "Parent can't take care of his/her kids" - purely based on the fact that the children are there with the parent. Sometimes, when single parents boarded the bus I was in, I heard people mumbling - and if a kid dared make a sound, there definitely was a "how dare you!"-ish glare going their way.

The mere fact that
a. kids are around
b. there is no second parent there
c. kids and parent are in a public space (in public transport, an official building, supermarkets etc.)

does not mean that the parent cannot manage them/doesn't bring them up "correctly"/there is no other parent around (who, god forbid, might be working and therefore can't come along to watch the kids)

The "get a babysitter/keep the kid at home" thing is just not ok. Children have a right to develop and experience things - even everyday stuff like shopping, eating in restaurants and going on a trip.
Parents also sometimes have very good reasons not to get babysitters for their children - the child might still be very attached to the parent and not accept other adults, there might not be enough money around, the babysitter might be ill, etc. etc.

OP, please don't stop having a nice time outdoors with your children - and if someone throws unjustified complaints at your child, defend them, teach them to defend themselves and, if necessary, go to management etc. If it's just some stranger outside, just tell him (with body language or words) that the behavior is unacceptable. You don't have to be rude about it, but sometimes people need to be told straight out that they're being rude, or they won't stop.
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  #22  
Old 05.05.2012, 17:39
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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we are dealing here with a parent who is yelling at us for not paying enough attention to his children in a supermarket.
Yelling? I had thought that on cyberspace you had to be putting your text in all CAPS to be "yelling" - so, no "yelling" going on here

And it is at the very least an oversimplification to state that my beef is that people are "not paying enough attention to his children in a supermarket" - sorry, but I like to think that treating others in a manner you would like be treated was a civilised approach to living amongst other human beings - perhaps that does not hold true here!?
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Old 05.05.2012, 17:45
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

Phil, your "address" to the OP was way off target. Who said his children were running around, out of control?

What I have noticed, is that the idea of who comes first - the customer or the worker - varies from place to place, country to country. I do notice a certain general tendancy here for shelf stackers ( for example) to ask me to move so that they can get to t the shelf they are wanting to restock, whereas in (some) other places, the staff training seems to encourage the shop staff to pause and wait till the customer has moved past, before edging in with the trolley/wagon full of goods for the shelves. Having come across this severl times, I can see the same attitude being directed at any other person, adult or child.

Personally, my pet hate is having to be fast enough to manouvre out of the way of children wearing skates or on their scooters , in shops. I always thought they were outside toys.

And what Ihave been amazed by is the friendly greeting that is given to every customer upon entering many small shops here. Very nice.
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Old 05.05.2012, 17:57
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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Yelling?
You are accusing the world of not worshipping your children as much as your precious treasures deserves it in your loving parent eyes. I don't care and won't ever care about your emotional problems about perception of other people's normal behaviour. End of story.

You display the behaviour of a diva. Now groan as much as you want.
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Old 05.05.2012, 18:09
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

spawn..... why someone would want to use such obnoxious language about young kids is really beyond me. peppering the post with "please" makes this right not.
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Old 05.05.2012, 18:12
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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I can't see where OP stated that her kids were running all over the place, totally unattended, ripping things off shelves etc.

Sometimes I come across people who give young parents with many children below 5 ("many" kids in Switzerland = >2) nasty looks aka "Parent can't take care of his/her kids" - purely based on the fact that the children are there with the parent. Sometimes, when single parents boarded the bus I was in, I heard people mumbling - and if a kid dared make a sound, there definitely was a "how dare you!"-ish glare going their way.

The mere fact that
a. kids are around
b. there is no second parent there
c. kids and parent are in a public space (in public transport, an official building, supermarkets etc.)

does not mean that the parent cannot manage them/doesn't bring them up "correctly"/there is no other parent around (who, god forbid, might be working and therefore can't come along to watch the kids)

The "get a babysitter/keep the kid at home" thing is just not ok. Children have a right to develop and experience things - even everyday stuff like shopping, eating in restaurants and going on a trip.
Parents also sometimes have very good reasons not to get babysitters for their children - the child might still be very attached to the parent and not accept other adults, there might not be enough money around, the babysitter might be ill, etc. etc.

OP, please don't stop having a nice time outdoors with your children - and if someone throws unjustified complaints at your child, defend them, teach them to defend themselves and, if necessary, go to management etc. If it's just some stranger outside, just tell him (with body language or words) that the behavior is unacceptable. You don't have to be rude about it, but sometimes people need to be told straight out that they're being rude, or they won't stop.
Fair enough but if the kids were running around out of control i dont think the OP would admit it
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Old 05.05.2012, 18:18
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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why someone would want to use such obnoxious language about young kids is really beyond me
simply for emotional impact.
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Old 05.05.2012, 18:34
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

It's always the same here, parents support each other in discussions out of emotional attachment, independently of the actual topic.

Fact is, children get in the way in public places and that's normal, they don't acknowledge all the movements around them and don't react according to them. But it is also perfectly normal to say Achtung! to a child standing in the way in a public space in order to get through. This is not rude, this is not child molestation or any kind of paranoiac overprotective aggressive fantasies of parents who wrongly expect the world to revolve around their children.
Nobody in supermarkets is being rude nor disrespectful in a German or French speaking environment when telling children to get off the way. This is normal. If you think otherwise, you are the one who should think throughly the consequences of your social-geographical choices in life.
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Old 05.05.2012, 18:41
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

Having a 4 year old myself, I do see that people tend to have tunnel vision here more than other places. Not that it compares, but coming from the southern US, people would often stop and smile at my daughter or even kneel down and say hello. It is not that way here for the most part. It doesn't mean that they are rude or terrible, it is just not their way. Australia and the US share many similarities, so I understand where you come from. The other aspect is I tend to find that because of the limited shopping hours, people have so many errands to pack into a Saturday or limited evenings, that they become hurried and frenzied. If you are a household with two working adults or a single working person (9-5 hours), you have such a small window to get things done it is stressful and causes some grumpiness. Perhaps this is the result of that.
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Old 05.05.2012, 19:38
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

All kids should be barred from public spaces. And as for old people, they should be shot at birth.

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On a more serious note - it must be cool to be semi-invisible. Which half is invisible? Or did you mean opaque?
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Old 05.05.2012, 19:43
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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did you by any chance also have your kids knocked by some horrible woman at the Zurich HB?
Hahaha, busted!
OP, I am sorry you had to experience first hand, in multiple occasions, people's rudeness. I think most people are nice, but there are the occasional g*ts, on both sides. I have unfortunately been on the receiving end of such rudeness, in what you could call a "mirror situation" to yours.

It was the Friday before Easter at the Hauptbanhof in Zurich. You can imagine the chaos of people, luggages, comings and goings, etc. I was walking quite fast to catch my train with a rather large carry on bag, a handbag, a grocery bag in my free arm, and holding a box of chocolate in that hand, trying to be as fast as possible while being mindful of my surrounding not to bump into anyone. As I was walking forward, I saw a kid running around in the general direction where I was going, and, since the parents (I assume) were talking with each other without paying the slightest attention to the kid, I tried changing direction, balancing all of the above load, so as not to run over the kid. Said kid decided to suddenly sprint forward in a wild run as there was no tomorrow, and BAM! Full collision into my luggage, which made me lose my balance, and we both crashed on the floor. Kid started screaming, more for the fright than the hurt I reckon, I felt horrible, apologized, made sure kid was alright, all my stuff was scattered on the floor. Luckily no one got hurt, kid calmed down, and then the mom ran over and started yelling at me, called me all kinds of names, I suspect not even knowing what happened, since she was too busy chatting away. I was shocked. WTF? The HB is not a freaking playground, you g*t! Pay attention to your kid, for God's sake! That's what I wanted to tell her, and there's no need for name calling. Instead, I got up, apologized again, ascertained again that the kid was not hurt, suggested that perhaps, perhaps, with all these people around, more attention should be paid by all, wished happy Easter, and went along. Obviously, despite having apologized profusely, I received no apology in return for all my stuff having fallen on the floor, etc.

My point is-there are obnoxious people on both sides, and we all should learn to be more civil (here I don't blame the kid, who is a kid, but the parents, who are responsible to check the behavior of their children and who, in this case IMO deserved a royal spanking)- let's think about the many nice people around instead, and cut each other some slack, and be all a bit more tolerant with each other.
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Old 05.05.2012, 19:51
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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It's always the same here, parents support each other in discussions out of emotional attachment, independently of the actual topic.

Fact is, children get in the way in public places and that's normal, they don't acknowledge all the movements around them and don't react according to them. But it is also perfectly normal to say Achtung! to a child standing in the way in a public space in order to get through. This is not rude, this is not child molestation or any kind of paranoiac overprotective aggressive fantasies of parents who wrongly expect the world to revolve around their children.
Nobody in supermarkets is being rude nor disrespectful in a German or French speaking environment when telling children to get off the way. This is normal. If you think otherwise, you are the one who should think throughly the consequences of your social-geographical choices in life.
I am not talking about public areas as a whole - so no point generalising when the topic is pretty specific.

Fact is the children have every right to tag along with their parents grocery shopping, and parents have every right to take them with! If your a shopper who can't be bothered to be polite and courteous to a child who is right beside his/her parent, and is not behaving badly in any way, shape or form, and say "excuse me" (in whatever language you want) then you are probably being rude - and guess what!? - all your doing is teaching that child to be rude as well! What goes around comes around - you may think it's fine to tell kids to "get out of the way", but no, that's being rude! Why would I be fine with abusing the dignity and rights of a child, but be courteous and respectful to grown-ups? - Would I bark "Achtung", or "get out of the way", to an adult who was not actually in harms way and was causing no actual disturbance? Of course not! Would I scowl and give dark and angry eyes to an elderly person because they are perhaps slowing me down? No, of course not! So why do it to a child? Why allow others to do it to my children?

I have not had people say "Achtung" to my kids, but I did have two people say "einschuligung" on differnent occasions, and on both occasions their tone of voice was very irritated. In one instance my son was trying to decide if he wanted grapes or strawberries for snack, and it so happened he was standing in front of where one of the plastic bag dispensers were. Suddenly I hear this stern and irritated voice say "einschuligung ... (and some other grumbling verbiage about being in the way) ... " and spin around to find this lady looking very angrily at my son (not at me) like he was some sort of vermin. The silly thing was that only a few feet away there was another plastic bag dispenser with not a soul around it!!

The second time was at the check out when my daughter (6) was helping me place items on the belt. She would take things out of the shopping trolly and then go around me and place it on the belt. Some other shoppers got in behind us and as soon as my daughter left the spot behind the shopping trolly to place her goodies on the belt, the other shopper in the cue moved forward standing right where she had been standing to get things out of the trolly. My daughter comes back to the trolley to get another item and finds this person there (somewhat uncomfortably close to my personal space) and she quietly says "excuse me" (as they are taught to do) and tries to reach into the trolley. Even though the other shopper looks directly at her, my daughter is completely ignored and the shopper does not budge a bit - instead the shopper snaps back with "einschuligung", in a tone that says "who do you think you are?". I then moved the trolley back to force the shopper backwards and let my daughter in the gap and gave the shopper a stern glare. - That was that ... but ugh .. what an experience!

To me this thread is about common courtesy - perhaps less "common" here ... but that's all it is that I am looking for - not ass-kissing behaviour, but just the simple notion that if we treat one another how we ourselves want to be treated we may all end up with a much more pleasant society.
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  #33  
Old 05.05.2012, 19:51
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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All kids should be barred from public spaces. And as for old people, they should be shot at birth.

Bitter Legend Forum! Can I sign up? What's the URL?

On a more serious note - it must be cool to be semi-invisible. Which half is invisible? Or did you mean opaque?
This is interestingHow we gonna do this ?I try to contact my mom.Can ashes give birth ?
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Old 05.05.2012, 19:56
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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I am not talking about public areas as a whole - so no point generalising when the topic is pretty specific.

Fact is the children have every right to tag along with their parents grocery shopping, and parents have every right to take them with! If your a shopper who can't be bothered to be polite and courteous to a child who is right beside his/her parent, and is not behaving badly in any way, shape or form, and say "excuse me" (in whatever language you want) then you are probably being rude - and guess what!? - all your doing is teaching that child to be rude as well! What goes around comes around - you may think it's fine to tell kids to "get out of the way", but no, that's being rude! Why would I be fine with abusing the dignity and rights of a child, but be courteous and respectful to grown-ups? - Would I bark "Achtung", or "get out of the way", to an adult who was not actually in harms way and was causing no actual disturbance? Of course not! Would I scowl and give dark and angry eyes to an elderly person because they are perhaps slowing me down? No, of course not! So why do it to a child? Why allow others to do it to my children?

I have not had people say "Achtung" to my kids, but I did have two people say "einschuligung" on differnent occasions, and on both occasions their tone of voice was very irritated. In one instance my son was trying to decide if he wanted grapes or strawberries for snack, and it so happened he was standing in front of where one of the plastic bag dispensers were. Suddenly I hear this stern and irritated voice say "einschuligung ... (and some other grumbling verbiage about being in the way) ... " and spin around to find this lady looking very angrily at my son (not at me) like he was some sort of vermin. The silly thing was that only a few feet away there was another plastic bag dispenser with not a soul around it!!

The second time was at the check out when my daughter (6) was helping me place items on the belt. She would take things out of the shopping trolly and then go around me and place it on the belt. Some other shoppers got in behind us and as soon as my daughter left the spot behind the shopping trolly to place her goodies on the belt, the other shopper in the cue moved forward standing right where she had been standing to get things out of the trolly. My daughter comes back to the trolley to get another item and finds this person there (somewhat uncomfortably close to my personal space) and she quietly says "excuse me" (as they are taught to do) and tries to reach into the trolley. Even though the other shopper looks directly at her, my daughter is completely ignored and the shopper does not budge a bit - instead the shopper snaps back with "einschuligung", in a tone that says "who do you think you are?". I then moved the trolley back to force the shopper backwards and let my daughter in the gap and gave the shopper a stern glare. - That was that ... but ugh .. what an experience!

To me this thread is about common courtesy - perhaps less "common" here ... but that's all it is that I am looking for - not ass-kissing behaviour, but just the simple notion that if we treat one another how we ourselves want to be treated we may all end up with a much more pleasant society.
So you are saying that a stranger has more effect on a child than its parents?

Not all people like kids. Its a personal thing
  #35  
Old 05.05.2012, 20:02
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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Would I bark "Achtung", or "get out of the way", to an adult
I have not had people say "Achtung" to my kids, but I did have two people say "einschuligung" on differnent occasions, and on both occasions their tone of voice was very irritated. "einschuligung ... (and some other grumbling verbiage about being in the way) ... " and spin around to find this lady looking very angrily at my son.
You are describing the absolute normal situation but you are being judgmental because you are not able to evaluate the actual communication due to your lack of language skills. Be aware of it in order to avoid misinterpreting situations like that.

bark: nobody barks. your perception of the German language is your problem, we, German speakers, don't have to suffer your judgment based on your non-German perception.

Entschuldigung: it's polite. The normal thing to say, and if one is irritated, we express ourselves far more brutally than that in German. There is no aggression in it, and whether you see aggression in it or not is irrelevant to the rest of the German speaking world.

Voice irritated: How can you judge that if you don't know how the language sounds in a)not irritated communication and b)irritated communication? You can't. Again: perception of communication in a language you have no way to evaluate at all. Jumping to conclusions is just a huge misunderstanding.

grumbling verbiage: you are describing sentences that you hear but do not understand. Using judgmental vocabulary won't help you: you have no idea what people said, you have no way to decode their utterance. Don't speculate.

Looking very angrily: Even if you're right, it's just a look, the behaviour of the person is perfectly normal and polite even if you perceive it differently, so what makes you say they were angry and not just stressed out or thinking of something else or just repressing more negative feelings out of kindness to the child? What if you only call it angrily because you expect to see anger here due to your lack of understanding of any language based communication?
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  #36  
Old 05.05.2012, 20:16
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

Drive by groanin' yay !!
Fun for all.

Seriously..
My kiddo was all over the place when he was a tot. He'd run so fast and straight ahead, you could pick him up and turn him in the other direction with his little footsies still peddling in the air.

Grocery shopping was an adventure, restaurants were an entertaining challenge especially if involving aero-dynamic food like green peas.

I just got into a habit of sticking him in a piggy back seat and carried him at a height where he could enjoy the scenery and I could function without a heart attack or profuse apologies (he's a very calm pleasant teen.. they do grow out of it.. though I sometimes miss the happy go lucky go get'em toddler).

Supermarkets and other public places involving tempting objects and lots of people are not the ideal place to find peace of mind with little children in tow.
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Old 05.05.2012, 20:34
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

My explanation would be that the space here in Switzerland is a lot tighter e.g. aisles in stores are narrow, stores themselves very tiny and lots and lots of people trying to fit into this small space. I don't think they are particularly rude, but I think they just don't care enough to make space for anyone because they feel entitled.
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Old 05.05.2012, 20:37
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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You are describing the absolute normal situation but you are being judgmental because you are not able to evaluate the actual communication due to your lack of language skills. Be aware of it in order to avoid misinterpreting situations like that.
I was going to add that poor language skills make it difficult to get a real cultural understanding too, but I figured it was a lost cause.

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Fact is the children have every right to tag along with their parents grocery shopping, and parents have every right to take them with! If your a shopper who can't be bothered to be polite and courteous to a child who is right beside his/her parent, and is not behaving badly in any way, shape or form, and say "excuse me" (in whatever language you want) then you are probably being rude
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I did have two people say "einschuligung" on differnent occasions, and on both occasions their tone of voice was very irritated.
You don't even have the most basic of German skills, and yet you're making judgements on the connotation of a one-word command? I wish I had your self-righteous fire, I bet it makes a lot of life seem simpler.

For the record, German is a harsher-sounding language than English (at least to English speakers). They might* not have been irritated at all.

*Or they might have. I, personally, have no problems giving parents an earful in the language of their choice if they can't keep reasonable control of their brats. Children are ok, brats are not.
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Old 05.05.2012, 20:40
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

As a mum I perfectly understand you. My children were born in London and raised them in there for 5 years. The areas we usually lived in were full of "single young professionals" who for some reason despise children. After living in 6 countries this was a total new phenomenon to me. My attitude has been always taking my children wherever I go and teach them the experience to go to the surpermarket, to the hospital, to a restaurant, etc. I think it is the right thing to do. If anyone gets unreasonable upset then it is his/her problem. And if they over run my children (it has happened a few times) I don't mind to stop them and kindly ask for an apologise for my children. I do the same if my children over run someone, they have to appologise.
Children are a gift, a celebration. And ALL of us (parents and society) are -in more or less grade- responsible for their education.
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Old 05.05.2012, 20:41
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Re: Are my children semi-invisible!?

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For the record, German is a harsher-sounding language than English (at least to English speakers).

As my very-Swiss-and-proud-of-it friend once explained to me:

"German - the language where 'I love you' sounds like a command."
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