Monday, June 10, 2013

home, familiarity and stuff-

 A couple weeks ago, I journeyed (Journey may be an exaggeration, more like... Drove...) to my childhood afternoon-school. While I don't know what something like that is actually called in English, in the first and second grade we went to this place, called eftis, when school was over for the day, but our parents were still working. Because 7-8 year olds apparently can't take care of themselves (BUT MUUMMM :<<<  ).

 Some lasting memories from that place, man. The building was some distance from our school, so we had to take a bus every day. It wasn't so bad, it was one of them smaller buses, and we got to know the drivers. We had this one favourite driver, this older, chubby but hearty, grey-haired man. I remember him well, because his bus had a TV, and he let us watch the VHS-tapes that we brought. Usually, someone brought some Tom & Jerry tape, or something like that.

 But I remember this one time, this one time when a friend of mine had smuggled in (under the radar of a vacant mother, the casing disguised as TMNT...) this movie called Saving Private Ryan... Shit, that might have been the best bus ride of my life. Twelve 7 year olds, jumping in our seats, almost pissing our pants with excitement as we watched Americans being blown up on the beaches of Normandy... Pure bliss.

 Good times, good times. I just walked around, peeked in the windows, checked out some slide that hadn't been there under my tenure, took a piss behind the playhouse, just like we used to do, some eleven years ago. Both my parents worked until 4 in the evening, so some days I could spend as much as 4 hours at eftis, just playing with toys or chasing girls or being chased by girls (eww cooties!!!).

 Most of the other children's parents got off their jobs sometime before 4, so often I would be left the only child still there. Sitting in the hallway, just waiting for mom to come pick me up. The lady there used to always give cookies to the last child to still be there. I even remember what kind of cookies it was, and to this day they remain one of my favourite kinds.

 While visiting now, I found that they now provide chalks for the children to draw with! They didn't have that when I was there, and it certainly wasn't here I was taught how to draw! So anyway, I picked an empty wall and just drew something. Not particularly sweet in itself, but I thought it would be fun for the children to see anyway.

 Left a tiny signature, along with my year of birth. I don't know whether anyone I knew still works here, but what if someone would remember me? Oh, probably not. Oh well.

 Switching subject entirely, as the summer vacation has now started, I'm home at my parents place again for a week or so. Home. When I moved to Vasa 2 years ago, people would often be curious where I considered my "home" to be. At consideration, its a difficult question. I live in Vasa, but all my past is in Jakobstad. I've lived with my brother the last 2 years, but the rest of my family still remained back... Home. On paper, my home is in the city where I am also studying, and after all, I live there. This is where my parents live, I live in Vasa. But if someone called me asking where I am right now, without giving it any thought, I'd probably say im "at home". It's happened before, the next question is "... In Vasa or..?"

 Home. It's been a tricky question, but then I realized something. Home isn't a place, its a feeling. Home is the quality of being in a familiar place, somewhere you belong, often felt where you're staying, often in the company of family or friends, people you love. You can be at home in many places, not just the building you sleep in. The people you're there with are at least as important as the actual place. In a friend of mines house, there is this funny piece of embroidery hanging on a wall. It says something like "A home without a cat is just a house."... Hur, sure, I mean, whatever floats your boat, mate ;)

 It's got some sort of point, though. A desk, an armchair, a cat, a dog, a beloved other or one's children, these are things that could be the cornerstones of what consitutes someone's home.

 I did feel a little bit at home at that eftis. Just walking around, reminiscing among the toys in the playground. It felt like a home, away from home. Once, maybe it was. The world's best eftis, man. In my time there as a seven year old, I may never have thought about it in that way, but now, if that's not a place in which one can feel at home, I don't know what is.

 I drove past that same place just yesterday, to see what had happened to my drawing. I kind of expected to see it washed off, or something like that. It was after all on a wall that had been completely clean before. But to my great delight, people had drawn on it, around it, and all along that wall! I mean, the picture speaks for itself, awesome, right?!

 And they wrote stuff, too! Some wrote boo, and there were tons of smudged messages, but someone wrote Thanks, Victor, which I just think is profound. It was special, it just made me so happy, close to tears... For some reason it just meant a ton that some first grader had written "thanks" next to my drawing. They have a way, children.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason I just love reminiscing my childhood years. Sometimes they feel so far away that it's difficult for me to comprehend that they really took place in this same world that I'm living in now. It's weird how I almost glorify some of the distant memories =)

    I also love revisiting places that I used to go to almost every day, but have now been away from for what feels like eternity.

    Nostalgia is quite something.

    Nice drawing by the way XD! I must say I understand the feeling you get when someone you don't even know appreciates your work!


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