I went to visit my grandmother the other day. I go there once in a while, but this time it was different. I paid more attention to the roads that led me there.
I passed by my old school. I stopped for a brief minute to admire that building where I had spent some of the best years of my life. The stage where I used to read a chapter from the Bible during the school assembly every morning. I remember I had to say “This is the word of the Lord” and 100’s of school girls in red pinafores and cream blouses used to repeat “Praise be to the Lord”. There was this one chapter about Moses and those lines were not the word of the Lord, so I decided to skip the routine. My principal, Sr. Leonie called me to her office and chided me saying I was being disrespectful towards the Lord and I will be punished on judgement day. I cried to sleep that night. That’s what a convent could do to you. I laughed to myself when I remembered that. That was the same stage where on my annual day I had danced to Ricky Martin’s Cup of Life. My mother was so proud that she stood in everyone’s way to take pictures of me. I had them lying somewhere in my dresser. Must look for them. Then there was the school grounds where we played so many games and I won the 3rd prize for running for 2 years consecutively. Boy that was something. Ask me to run from my door to the street today, I’ll be panting even before I leave my porch. The roads where I used to cycle back home with friends took me back to the time when I was once trying to show off and a neighbor of mine came up behind me and said “Will you please make it clear which way do you want to ride? It’ll save people driving behind you a lot of confusion”.
I remembered my pre-degree days with my closest friends Daisey and Diana. The bus we went to college in, 314 H. We made Diana walk close to 4 kms though she had a bus stop right next to her house just so we could travel together. The conductor had a gold tooth and we used to laugh every time we saw him. There was this bus stop where my friends and me , we used to wait for the bus to take us home or somewhere close by home. I remember there was this guy who called Daisey and asked her about me. Boy how we laughed. I passed by the little bakery where we once saw 3 boys smoking and one of them put his cigarette down immediately when he saw us. A few feet later, Diana blushed and told me that the boy was her boyfriend. Gosh I was stunned. Diana had a boyfriend at age 16? Jeez ! She freaked me out. I passed by the ice cream cart on the roadside where Daisey had once bribed me with ice cream if I walked an extra mile home (we got a bus that dropped us further away from home and I was mad at her for making me go on that bus). I was in bed with food poisoning for a week after I ate that ice cream. That guy was still there? Wow !
I reached my dear grandma’s house and went to the terrace to relive my younger days. My grandfather and I used to have our evening tea on the terrace everyday. But besides that , there was nothing else to remind me of my childhood days. The neighbourhood had changed so much after I left . There used to be lots of eucalyptus trees and very few houses miles apart from each other. Now that place was so noisy and crowded and polluted that it snapped me back from the past pretty rudely.