Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Young Again

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

When I was a kid, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be old. Until now, I still can't.

The rest of the world would definitely put me in the "old" category, but there's a part of me that refuses to believe it, even as I file tax returns and put my signature on daunting contracts.

It's probably the child in me that's drawn to Cheeming Boey's illustrated memoir "When I Was a Kid." On Boing Boing, Mark Frauenfelder wrote:
Told in a series of one- and two-page comic strips, Boey describes his life growing up in Malaysia: finding a condom in his parents' bedside drawers, "fishing" for his dogs by tying a biscuit to a string and dangling it off a stick while standing on his balcony, making a tiny matchstick kite with his dad...and and dozens of other funny and sometimes poignant slices of life.
As he enumerated Boey's antics, I tried to remember how my own childhood in the Philippines was like. It's been a while since I've thought about it.

I remember throwing wet tissue up to the ceiling, then leaving the room because it got stuck up there. (I didn't want to get in trouble, in case it never fell down.) I remember family trips out of town, so we could soak in hot springs. I remember learning how to smile properly while on layover at the Honolulu airport. I remember the smell of the streets after a monsoon. Then, rejoicing once I found out classes were cancelled. It meant I could stay at home all day.

Then, I thought about all my other friends who grew up in strange places. One of them I know grew up in a China that's long gone. When yogurt was made at home and hawked on the streets. When going to school meant being hitched up on a bicycle.

Childhood is a strange and wonderful time, when the world seems like it still had some mysteries left undiscovered. At times, I forget. That's probably the adult in me. Then, I remember to be a kid again and smile.

What was your childhood like?


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