When we used to break the rules

When I was five and lived in a community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, once a week, my two best friends and I would go to the local YAMAHA music school together for a group lesson. We were always accompanied by all our mothers and our little siblings. Every week, the three adults, the three children and their three baby siblings would all travel together in one car.

The car was a five seater. It was a short drive lasting only for about ten minutes. Nevertheless, in order to fit all the nine people in the car, we had to come up with a trick. We three girls were crammed in the backseat with one mother. My friend’s little sister was fitted underneath the glove box. My little brother sat on one of our mother’s lap, and my friend’s baby brother was… I don’t recall how he was fitted in the car. Perhaps somebody piggybacked him.

Thus the nine of us all travelled merrily to our music lesson.

Though it was a short drive, once in a while, a police car would come into our sight. Then one of the mothers would call out to everyone to hide the four extra heads so that they would not be visible from outside.

Once, on our way home, I sat next to my mother in the backseat, and somebody said there was a police car nearby.

“Duck your head, Sweetie!” my mother said and covered my head with her arm.

Even though we were cheating against police officers, nobody seemed to be worried, and we all had a lot of laugh while travelling back home.

That was more than 25 years ago. The traffic regulations in my hometown have gotten stricter since then, and we probably would not dare to cram nine people in a five-seater car if we were to redo our old routine now.

But it was fine back then. The memory of our outrageous weekly drive to the music lesson is stored with a sense of great fun and happiness in my heart.