childhood memories

Free like a bird

In this memory, I’m five years old, visiting the local art gallery with my mother and brother for a regular weekend picnic. After the main picnic in the garden, there is one more place my mother takes us to that I look forward to. It’s a children’s playroom. But not like the ones you find […]

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Message of a Tilted Egg

In this memory, I’m five years old. I’m visiting the local art gallery near my home for a weekend picnic with my mother and little brother. Right inside the entrance, in the middle of the hallway, is a large bronze statue that looks like an egg. The egg is tilted ever so slightly as if

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The Funny Mountain

In late summer when I was eight, one day, my father and I made a daytrip to a mountain not too far from our town. Prior to our departure, there was a minor quarrel between my parents. The place my father had picked was a trail along a river in a cave, and my mother

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His Favourite Books

In this memory, I’m five. My two-year-old brother learns how to read, and now, he has a few favourite picture books he likes to read out loud. Whenever he is not playing with his toy buses, he goes to the backroom of our apartment and pulls out a book from the shelf. “Nontan, let me

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She explains

I’m three in this memory. In August, my new-born brother comes out of ICU after his heart surgery, and because my parents need to focus on his care, I’m sent to my maternal grandmother to spend three weeks with her family. At her house, everybody wants to know about my brother’s condition. They ask my

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The Colourful Towers

When I was little, there was a cheap diner that my family would occasionally go to for dinner. Though it couldn’t have been far away from our home, the drive in darkness made it feel very far away. As we sat down at a table by a window, I spotted towers in the distant hill

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Garbage Collection

In this memory, I’m about nine years old. Every Thursday is the garbage collection day for my neighbourhood. My mother collects all the garbage in the house and if I’m downstairs, I take the bags to the nearest collection spot. Every few blocks share a designated collection spot, and you’re not supposed to dispose your

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The One Pokémon Toy

The year when I entered primary school, the Pokémon anime series came on the national television network. Everybody around me, both boys and girls, became crazy about the series. Except me. At my home, I was only allowed to watch one anime per week – a rule my mother had made to prevent me from

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The Divine Omelette

The summer when I was seven, my mother and I visited my great aunt’s house in Tokyo for a few days. The evening we arrived, my mother and great aunt chatted until late, and when I woke up the next morning, they were already up, preparing breakfast in the small kitchen downstairs. “We’re going to

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A Funny Picture

In this memory, I’m nine years old. Every morning, I walk to the school on my own, passing by groups of first graders, some kids from other grades, and some familiar faces from my own grade. There is a cow bell attached to my school bag. It was a souvenir from my kindergarten classmate when

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