The spring when I was turning eleven, my family made our first oversea trip. The destination was London, England, and we stayed there for ten days.
It was my first time ever to go outside of my own country, and so, I observed everything that came into sight with great curiosity. The colourful underground trains, the red double-decker buses, the old-fashioned telephone boxes and mail boxes, the road signs, the newspaper stands, the corner shops, and even people’s hair colours. Whenever I noticed something new and interesting, I would tell my father about it.
During our stay, we came across many young school children, too, presumably on their school trip. Dressed in different school uniforms and forming lines, they were walking around the city with clipboards in their hands. Whichever touristic spot we went, we were always met with a few groups of school children and their teachers.
Since these children looked like my age, I was naturally drawn to them, and each time I saw them, I gazed at them most intently, observing what they were doing in detail.
I was particularly intrigued by the way boys and girls of my age were interacting with each other. One day, I made a comment to my father.
“Here, boys and girls are getting along well,” I said eagerly. “They are talking with each other more than at my school!”
By them, I meant all the school children from different schools whom I had seen on the streets. I had just finished a school year at my own primary school where I noticed that boys and girls had started to play less with each other compared to a few years ago, and I was feeling a little sad about it.
“Really?” My father looked surprised upon hearing my words. “Is there such a difference between your schoolfriends and the children we see around here?”
A few days later, we were having breakfast at the hotel when a group of school children came in and occupied the space around us. Suddenly, the breakfast room became noisy. There was a group of two boys and two girls sitting at the table in front of us. Soon, they started quarrelling with each other quite aggressively.
“Are they getting along well?” My father whispered to me as he pointed to the school children in front of us. He looked like he could not help laughing upon recalling the comment I had made earlier.
“Well, they are not,” I answered with my eyes fixed upon the four children. “But at least, they’re talking to each other!”
In the end, I came to the conclusion that the age-related communication issue among kids was probably the same here as among the kids at my school.