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First Time... (Childhood stories 2#)

by - Saturday, January 30, 2016

Like I have promised in my previous posts a long, long time ago, I want to write about my first time in doing something when I was a kid today. I don't know, I just don't have any idea what to write about that can be relatable or close to be one. So I guess this just has to do. 

Now, here's the thing, my childhood was alright. I befriended the neighbours' kids and we got along okay (sometimes), did well in school (yeah... I think), played outside every day in the afternoons, and all those normal things. Pretty average, right? But being me and being yourself too, a unique individual on our own, nothing is normal at least not to ourselves.

1) Riding the bicycle
From what I can remember, my dad has always been very eager for all of my siblings to be able to ride the bike. My sisters couldn't learn how to ride the bikes then as they were too young but later on when we were older, they managed to conquer the art of riding a bicycle pretty well.

Anyways, my dad would switch bikes in the shop with the ones he purchased if we couldn't get used to it and on some days, when he's free off work, he would adjust the bikes to suit us. I really wanted to ride on a bike because all the kids in the street had one and they always, always cycle pass my house and I couldn't join in because I didn't have one and worse, I had no idea how to ride on one. So everyday, like some half-possessed 6 year old, I religiously practiced getting my balance right on the bike. I remember how I hated that I couldn't hold the bike from falling to one side without one of feet planting safely to the ground. 

At night, even when it rained, I continued to push the bike up and down the front yard. My mum's call to come inside the house were completely ignored as I continued to push myself to cycle. It went like that for some time, and not longer after that, I could finally ride on one. 

There were plenty of cuts and bruises up my arms and legs but the pride I had for my achievement pretty much blurred the pain. It was definitely worth it. 

2) Reading books (Specifically English ones)
Yes, as unbelievable as it is, I was not an avid reader back during those wild childish days. In fact, I absolutely hated reading but preferred the outdoors, hanging out with the kids all day. If not that, then I would be in the living room with my head slightly inclined to get a better view of the TV screen on the next episode of The Powerpuff girls and other cartoon shows. My life did not evolve around books at all. 
However, I had to sell my soul to a few minutes of those frequent reading sessions with my dad in the evenings. My English wasn't so good back then but I was better at reading than my younger sister. I got to read the "tougher", more "challenging" books on our shelves. It was the Disney books collection, the one with The Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and all that. I can't remember who got to pick my reading materials but I know I ended up with Pocahontas for a long time because I was such an awful reader. 

With the book tucked under my arm, I would either sit down on the floor next to my dad or on his lap, and read the English words slooooowly starting off from the first page. It was only 2 pages a day sort of thing but because I consumed so much time reading (and at a very slow rate & stuttered), I always had to start from the very first page over and over. Soon, I had unconsciously memorized the first few pages of the book.

A year or two afterwards, I gain the interest to read on my own. There wasn't much to do at home after school or during the long and boring holidays. TV was a complete bore, I tell you. They only put cartoons on air at 6AM on Saturday mornings but which kid would wake up that early?? Or on weekdays in the mornings but they were too boring for words. 
In the end, I took a book and started to read, and my journey in loving books began.

3) Starting school
I was schooled both in Malaysia and in the UK, but for this post, I would write out how my classes were like here (M'sia I mean). I can only vaguely remember me feeling excited and fidgeting on the passenger seat beside my mother who was driving cautiously to my school, an Islamic Kindergarten centre not so far from home. I think I was excited because all my friends in my street had started school and they always had some fun stories to tell about that "magical" place. But at the same time, I was nervous too because none of my friends were enrolled in that school I was destined to go to.

It turned out that I didn't need to worry about it. I loved school even the rides on the yellow school bus there every day. I learn new things (even English, not my favourite subject back then) and I made more friends of my age. But there was one incident when I had a fight with a boy who stole a book that my friend lent to me and claiming it was his. I lost as the teachers sided with him (his nose didn't look too good) but I can never forget it. Especially because it wasn't my property that I lost. But I enjoyed my time there all the same.

So, yeah, my hands hurt now typing it all. Maybe there should be a "Childhood Stories 3#"?


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