Saturday, 15 December 2012
I was always a fortunate kid, and I think I was pretty priviledged. My parents are't exactly rolling in dough, but I definitely had a comfortable childhood. My first home was, as I remembered it, huge. Enough room for me to crawl under tables and imagine elaborate stories where I was Kamen Rider's plucky young sidekick, and the world needed my very vague but very important talents. And lovely blank walls I was allowed to 'decorate' with childish scribbles and valiant attempts at forging my parent's signatures (they never signed off on assignments and permission slips, they eventually gave up asking if I needed anything signed).
We had a sprawling back garden filled with Duku trees and Mango trees, and shapely Salak palm trees in the distance (which I had to be careful about approaching, because SNAKES!), and rows upon rows of Suflir that sit pretty, awaiting my mum's attention. There was enough room for me to practice riding my bike and a gently slopped roof where my brother had his afternoon naps. I tried joining him once, I was rewarded with laughter as I got stuck and spent half an hour trying to get back down.
I was rarely bored at home, even if I spent hours alone. I was a pretty self sufficient kid, easily amused by my own imagination. And if I was ever really desperately lonely, I could always hop down a stone path to my gran's sister's house next door and bug my teenage aunts and uncles, settling down for an afternoon of noodles and music I didn't quite understand. Or if I wanted to play with someone my own age I could ask my Mbak to hail a becak so I can ride to my gran's house and trick my younger (by 6 months!!) cousin into doing something silly. She was always a lot more sensible than I ever was.
Approaching dusk, I'd have to be safely ushered indoors because that would be the time the wild monkeys would come out to play, swinging on washing lines, ripping of any unfortunate item of clothing forgotten there. They'd be wreaking general havoc, as I watched fascinated safe behind a pane of glass. I took the saying "Monkey see, monkey do." to a whole other level, I consider it a stroke of luck that I didn't turn out violent like those bastards.
This sudden onslaught of nostalgia was brought on by the rain. And I think my love of rain started from that house. My Condet house. Because we had a nice patio, with the most uncomfortable rattan lounger where I nevertheless spent hours watching it pour down. This lovely thick curtain of water obscuring the world outside, keeping me safe from monkeys, and mosquitoes. Cracks of thunder and flashes of lightning never really scared me, and I'd stay curled up with a mug of hot chocolate, quietly enjoying the feeling of being some type of magical creature living behind a waterfall.
It's raining today, and I'm safe inside my tiny little picture perfect brick house. But right now, I'm remembering Condet, and all the happy moments I spent there as a child.