Simon is greatly impressed by the fact that if the Charge-Parity-Time (CPT) Symmetry doesn’t hold, the whole special relativity theory would have to be reconsidered. Does general relativity rely on special relativity? — I ask him. — What is special relativity about?
— It’s about inertial reference frames, — Simon answers.
— And what is that?
— It’s about either something static or moving at a constant velocity, — he gives me this big smile. — General relativity applies to accelerating reference frames!
And I am thinking, what a vocabulary he’s got in English, he talks like a grown-up. It strikes me that he doesn’t talk like this in his native Dutch or Russian. In those languages he sounds much younger, less self-assured, and he makes quite a few grammar mistakes in Russian (his little sis correcting his case forms and genders). What if he wasn’t living this trilingual life? Was communication with the outside world easier for him then? Will it become easier outside the English language that he has embraced so wonderfully? I continue to hold on to the idea that multilingualism can be nothing but enriching in the long run.