Early Memory: the blue sky and the crayfish

My earliest memories begin somewhere around the time when I turned three. Compared to my later memories, they are sporadic, and the scenes I do remember tend to be blurry. Among those blurs, however, are a few scenes that stand out with vivid clarity.

I believe I was three in this memory. One bright sunny day, my parents and I were visiting a harbour. I cannot recall if it was hot or cold, but the sky was blue and spotless. We went into a gift shop and I chose a large plastic model of a crayfish as my souvenir. It wasn’t a cute toy designed for little kids, but one closely modelled after the real crayfish. I learned the word “crayfish” then and there.

With the huge crayfish model in my hand, I followed my parents into an old ship that was made into a museum. There was a dark corridor, and we ended up in a tiny room with a few other adults. The place reminded me of an elevator, but it wasn’t. When the room became dark, a screen appeared in front of us.

The screen showed the ocean waves, making us feel as if we were travelling in the sea. Holding my crayfish tight, I wondered what this adventure was about when, suddenly, a huge rock appeared in front of us. The rock was coming at us at a fast speed. The adults around me gasped.

Nobody could stop it. The rock became larger and larger in the screen, and before we knew it, we crashed into the rock.

“Yikes!” My mother’s voice echoed in the tiny room before the film ended and the lights came back.

As we came out of the ship and walked under the blue sky, my parents were busy talking about the virtual experience we’d just had. I hopped along, my attention already back to the new crayfish in my hand.