Childhood’s Passport Stamps

Norbert

Growing up in one place was off-stream to my family, they just couldn’t settle to a small, yet more than enough, flat in the near center of the city. Developing tacky relationships with the street’s elders and neighbors’ children was my most developed skill.. Heck, I still remember a couple of those never ending tales of other people’s lives, especially the ones involving surviving hunger, war and other catastrophes…

I was always between packing and unpacking my baggage, and not just literally. My mind was like a circus, preparing a show for the newcomers in my life.

My base game called Childhood had four expansion packs:, at age four, eight, thirteen and eighteen, each with its specific taste and smell.

Gosh, I enjoyed moving, discovering new places, running inside the new home, picking my room and imagining the way it could look. The smell of new painting and the silence of the night…

From concrete jungle, rural empire, sane’s edge, to Fashionista’s closet. These would be the right titles for the upper so called expansion packs, and, if I’m already here, let me smoothly describe them. Just for fun…

Concrete Jungle

Don’t remember staying inside for too long, barely remember the way my room looked back then or what toys I had. I do remember the surroundings of my block, the kids I used to play with, scared of or hiding from.
Me and my friends were playing on the street, looking for mischief till the city lights showed up… Heheh!

There was a building in construction, right in front of ours, with a generous amount of hide & seek opportunities. My school was also nearby with a big enough football field, not that I’m a fan of sports or what so ever, but it was the heart of Kinder Society, the fastest way to make new friends…

Running around parked cars, taking off their stickers or decorations, tormenting my poor neighbors. I felt like the city was mine, even if my knees were injured from the constant concrete kissing… Even if those four years where basically in a unfinished building, parking lots, school fields and the close by internet cafe, which was more like an early PC Gamer’s Club. I discovered Mortal Combat and Hercules there!

Rural Empire

Besides moving into a house where an old person hanged himself in the attic (I saw the chains!), I was pretty much living on a boring street, infested by gossip whisperers and nannies keeping an eye on you, plus there were no cars, no pollution, no concrete. Just green grass and fresh air…

Things were more interesting in my own yard. Of course, I stole my neighbors sour cherries, apples and plums. Who wouldn’t do that? And I mean it, I stood there for hours, operating that tree, making sure not one piece of fruit will remain till the end of summer. I was worse than an insect!

Here’s the part where I got injected with cartoons. Saturday and Sunday mornings were one hundred percent Hanna-Barbera action. And because I knew Hungarian too, I had double the great shows compared to my muddy friends.

Guess who had a sandbox in front of his house? Oh yes I had! And half of it was transported in my room. But hey, I had my own personal Simcity out there with original destruction tools!

At Sane’s Edge

Boy, oh boy. This was kind of a downgrade to my lifestyle. We moved to another house, closer to the city, with no hot water or bathroom, no heating system, gas or cable. Yes, my friends, I had no cable for almost 3 years!

Just me and my imagination…

Ended up in a German school, gosh I hated it, especially my language teacher. I was never good enough for her, always hunting me down, every freaking class… She really enjoyed pushing those bad boy grades on me. But I showed her, oh yes I did!

When your own teacher is bullying you, plus a couple of classic bullies in the schoolyard, you tend to not care anymore about the big picture, so you take vacations, when you feel like it. You know, to escape the system. You have no idea how many imaginary relatives died in the fifth and sixth grade… No idea!

I lied. I lied a lot, to my parents, friends and everyone around me. It’s bad, I know. I built a whole new fantasy life, covered in thousands of paper masks…

My biggest fear in life is to let my parents down. So to protect them, I even disabled the telephone for days to make sure my teacher won’t reach them. My dad used to drop me in front of the school. I stood there for five minutes, making sure he left the perimeter, then ran back home…

…And then I reached the deepest deep of my ocean of misery… I didn’t pass the one and only exam, the one that decided whether I’m going or not to high school. The one that decided my future…

Failure after failure. Oh boy!

My dad didn’t talk to me for weeks. I lost my two friends, apparently they were ashamed of me, I was all alone… Masks were burning off, one by one. Tears cleaned the ashes off my skin… Till the sun shone upon my naked face. In that moment, and I remember this perfectly, I said to myself – No more! So I got up on my feet and promised to myself that I’ll never let myself, or my loved ones, down. Never!

So I became an overachiever, a fighter and an opportunist. Had one year of crappy school, took the exam again, passed with shining stars, finished high school with great grades, did a lot of voluntary work (and still doing!), finished university with honors, studied abroad… And never lied again about who or what I am. Never!

Life is great and sadly too short…

Fashionista’s closet

Moved for the fourth time and apparently (finally!) for the last time, with my family, to an apartment, somewhere between the other apartments back in year zero to eight. A small but good enough apartment, a silent one with great surroundings and everything I ever wished for. My life is not just complete but perfect, and I’m writing this with tears in my eyes.

I finally have the feel of shelter, the warmness of my room… Yet I don’t regret one second of my past. If I would have the possibility to go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing. This road I’ve been on for 22 years gave me great experience.

I’m not afraid of changes, I can instantly accept and always looking for them, for better ones, to further develop myself. I learned to accept and love myself I learned to love my friends, cause I lost many. Most important, I became an overachiever, I’m touching the sky, I’m conquering my every want, wish and dream. Impossible became I’m possible!

Of course, there may still be a couple of downsides of this path that I took, like my addiction to clothing, computer games, trends and other shenanigans… But hey! Boy gotta have an addiction or two… Or three!

Also, there might be a pinch of diva attitude in his personality… Just a pinch, you won’t even notice, I swear!

And hey, thank Player he’s not smoking or drinking…

How would you describe your childhood’s passport stamps? Have you ever been at Sane’s Edge?

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