CHILDHOOD revisited: A Trip To Town

February 3, 2010

Even trivial moments can turn into adventurous childhood ventures. Part of mine were those days when my mama and I would take a trip into town. That was a big deal for me – on that day I would be an early bird, rising up from the pillow pile before everyone else in the house just to be ready and on time for all the exciting city adventure yet to come.

The bus would depart at 8.10AM sharp – a miss would mean going 3 hrs later or not all. In any case this would suck a lot, after all these 1-day trips into town would be my fortnightly highlight. When finally on the bus, I would spend the entire trip staring outside the window, catching houses grow and faint on the horizon, seeing fields of gold in autumn, brown snow match in winter, tint of grass in spring and green grass in summer as season sceneries passing me by; and then, the closer we would get, city buildings appear like gatekeepers to another world. The times I wouldn’t be glued to the window, mama and I would chat about ‘the list’ and the ‘VIP missions’ we had to accomplish in town, including buying some fabrics and other crafty things for my little doll house, chasing after a new pair of pink shoes or browsing through the Joan Aiken or C.S. Lewis collection in the small but cramped bookshop in the side alley. And then there would be the ‘obligatory lunch’ on level 3, followed by a chocolate coated, vanilla dripping Choc Nig.

Nothing fancy yet special to me would be having lunch at that restaurant on level 3 in the one and only centralised shopping mall, one of these canteen-like food-chain supplies where people queue in front of glass counters with chunky food piles on display and grumpy old check-out chicks past their prime (time) and far far away from making your day with even the slightest crack of a smile. Even though the location wasn’t that great I enjoyed every single bite, a chunky-punky meal was just part of the deal of some quality time spent with mama in town.

As a special treat, there would be a chocolate coated ice-cream cone waiting for me outside on the way to see great-grand ma. In a language that is not appropriate to use anymore that dark brown ice cream would be called a Chocolate Nigger. Despite the controversial naming convention, it was yum. I still remember the first bite that cracked the frozen chocolate coat and the melted vanilla ice-cream below that would drip on my shirt. Over the years I witnessed the sign of the little ice-cream trolley change from the inappropriate term mentioned above to a mere Ice-cream Cones with Chocolate Coat. Pfft, adult world – who get’s it? Words should be judged according to their meaning not for the abuse they are used by irresponsible adultrish idiots.

And then after the BIG day out there would come the ride home. Sitting in the bus, I would spend the entire trip staring outside the window, seeing city buildings disappear in the back-rear window, and then fields of gold in autumn, brown snow match in winter, tint of grass in spring and green grass in summer passing me by. Getting off the bus, the smell of country in the air and mama’s hand as safety-net to guide me home, trashed but soaked up with contentment from the city-venture. In retrospect, this trip to town with my mama was all worth it – early bird rise, mass canteen food and the Choc Nig just to slide back into rural bliss called home.

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