Art Gallery Picnic

I am five in this memory. A weekend morning. After breakfast, while my nocturnal father is still sleeping in the backroom, my mother takes me and my brother out to the local art gallery near our home. None of us is interested in observing the artwork, but there are great picnic spots on the premise of this art gallery.

With a bag full of snacks, the three of us leave home on foot. Out of our community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, through another community of a little larger apartments, down the hill until finally the brown concrete building appears in front of us.

This art gallery is surrounded by a spacious garden called “The Garden of Alice,” its design inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous book Alice in Wonderland. Once we arrive at the art gallery, we pass through the main hallway and exit the back door into the courtyard.

I am jumping with excitement. This is my favourite part – the rabbit hole. The garden passage starts with a vertical tunnel which reminds me of the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland. In my head, I imagine that we have just fallen down a rabbit hole and entered a magical world.

This is not totally my imagination. The garden passage leads us through different statues, which we can touch or in some cases ride on. Invited by the magical atmosphere, my brother and I run around, making calling sounds to check the echoes.

When the magical passage finally gives way to a little park, we pick a place to sit and open our snack bag. My brother and I take a few snacks in our hands and run to the little pond in the middle of the park. There are large carps swimming in the water. We lean against the bar lazily and watch the fish move around while putting snacks in our mouths.

Just when we are immersed in our own world, my mother calls our names, and we all walk back to the building, back to the ordinary world.