- The woman in the bikini
When I was seven I wrote an illustrated story about a psychotic woman who seduces a man, marries him, bears him children and plays the role of the perfect wife. Her obsession with him grew over the years and he thinks he's in heaven until she decided to kill him one day... all for the money. I wrote dialogs and drew detailed scenes and coloured them in. I was so proud of my creation that I should it to my dad...
Imagine his face turn from eager to horrified as he flipped the pages... and lay the childishly bound book back down in front of me. Then he said, "...don't you ever write stuff like this again." I took the book, got up and left, and tore it to pieces.
- The potato
I was with my family when I was eight, visiting a relative one warm afternoon. We were welcomed into the apartment and sat down on a huge black sofa. There were no cushions or pillows. Just black, waterproof fabric. Our host turned on the fan and said that there will be some food and drinks in a few moments.
I looked around... what a boring living room. And it stank of sweat, feet and unwashed carpets. There was a little girl, maybe 3 years of age, but I didn't know who she was. She was looking at me, smiling, giggling.
I started to feel uneasy on the sofa and had the feeling that I had to change positions. I let my hands down to the sides so that I could push myself up, shift, and let myself sink again. And then I felt something wet in my right hand. Something oily.
It was a piece from a fried potato. I looked away to see if anyone noticed what I noticed. No one.
Then I looked back at the potato, put my hand over it, and squashed it.
I was six... and loving life as a child in preschool. What I also loved was a friend. She was taller than me and loved to give me a piggyback ride. Maybe she was strong or maybe I must've been too skinny. She let me ride on her back every other day and that entertained me... cheered me up... made me laugh. At first I pretended that she was a cat. And then I started to believe that she was a cat and that it was my first pet ever.
- Rice party
My sister and I just woke up from an afternoon nap. We were at our grandma's place, in her bedroom. I was six and she was four... we woke up, the afternoon sun seeping through the curtains and the door was closed. No sounds coming from outside.
I looked around the room and saw a big, red container under a dresser. What's a big red container doing there? Can I open it? I had to try.
And yes, I opened it and it was full of rice. Maybe 20 kilograms, or more. I ran my fingers over it. Smooth. Interesting. Pretty.
There was a metal can to scoop the rice out with. I took it and began to scoop rice out of the container and onto the floor.
My sister watched at first and then walked towards me. Wanted to help. I showed her how it's done and before long we had rice all over the bedroom floor. "Yaaaay!!" I cried as I let myself glide over the floor, which now suddenly felt all grainy, slippery and different. We were laughing, throwing rice into the air and letting it rain over us.
The door swung open and my aunt, who was still living with my grandma at that time, walked in and her mouth dropped open. "MOMMMMM!!!!" she screamed.
- First kiss
We were on a roadtrip somewhere in Malaysia. My dad's colleague and his family were also on holiday with us and they had a daughter and a son. Didi and Hisham. Didi, Hisham and I were at the back seat of our car going crazy. Hisham, the youngest and being a boy, couldn't stop fidgeting, changing positions, climbing over us, laughing in our faces, shouting in our ears, and all that stuff.
"Stop it!" said Didi.
Hisham reacted... He took Didi's face in his hands and pushed her away. Then he took my face in his hands and planted a huge, wet kiss on my nose and laughed hysterically.
He was practically eating my face.
I freaked out and beat the shit out of him.
My (late) dad and I were in a swimming pool at a resort. I didn't want to play in the kiddie pool, I wanted to be with him, in the deeper part where all the adults are.
He took me with him and told me to wait while he swims across and back again. He then swam away and I admired his skills. It seemed so easy how he was able to just float and move in water.
I followed him. I wasn't tall enough to keep my head above water, I had to stand on my toes and stretch my neck. I kept walking towards the direction my dad was swimming in.
And then halfway through the ground under my feet disappeared. There was nothing for me to tip-toe on anymore. I went under and tried to scream. I took a deep breath and water went straight into my lungs.. burning like fire in my chest.
I saw bubbles made by my frantic struggle and the deep blue colour that was distorted and endless. Every second felt like an eternity.
And then I saw my dad's face appear in this endless blue space and he lifted me out of the water so fast and I desperately took the biggest breath I ever took in my life. I was still screaming, coughing, and water gushed out of my mouth and nose. My chest was still burning.
My dad sat me down at the pool's edge and said, "I told you to wait."
"Can you teach me how to swim?" I asked, still gasping for breath. "I want to swim."
A few months later my parents enrolled me into swimming class and for the next 5 years I trained, endured and even learned how to rescue a drowning person. I had thought of becoming a lifeguard... but I just hate being in the sun.