Parsingtime

More Annoyed than Amused

Timeline: Zero through Seven

Posted by parsingtime on February 8, 2008

1980: I am born on a Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I’m born on Saturday because the doctor tells my mom that Friday is a religious day and there won’t be doctors available to help her on Friday. Upon my birth my mom exclaims that I look like a hairy monkey. I don’t feel bad though because when my sister is born two years later, mom exclaims, “oh shit.” Seems she wanted a boy. My dad thinks I’m awesome and sings me to sleep for the first 8 months of my life until he decides he’s tired of it and let’s me scream for 3 hours because I can’t sleep because no one has sung to me. I blame this particular incident on my current sleeping issues.

1981: My Dad wonders if the milkman was my father (if Saudi had milkman that is) because I have an Afro. They cut my hair for the first time and it goes dead straight forever. I stay with friends of my parents for three weeks while they go on vacation to India. I don’t want to go home with my parents when they return.

1982: My sister is born. She doesn’t do anything but seems to get more Christmas gifts that I do that year. I’m not happy. People think she is cuter than me. I’m not happy.

1983: I remember hearing rain for the first time in my life and being scared out of my mind. This is what happens when you live in Saudi…rain is a phenomenon. My parents put me in Ballet classes. I go to one class where I scream, “I will not ballet. Ballet is for sissies.”

1984: I start school. I walk there by myself because we live on a compound. My parents have this ginormous SUV. To my four year old self it seems impossibly large and I need help getting in. I recently mentioned this car to my parents asking if it was a Land Rover or something. No. It was a Chevy Blazer, a rather small SUV. We move to Hong Kong where I meet Nelia, our live in housekeeper. I like to spy on her in her room when she paints her nails. I’ve never met anyone who has long nails that they paint before.

1985: I bite my best friend Jenny Lee. My mom bites me to show me that biting is not a nice thing. It works. We Are the World comes out and my Dad explains to me that people in Ethiopia don’t have food. In my mind people not having food means that the grocery stores shelves are empty and I wonder why someone doesn’t just fill them up.

1986: I start swimming as competitively as a six year old can. I realize that sports are not for me. I go to school at Gun Club. It is actually known as the Gun Club Hill (name of the street) Primary School. I always thought it was called Gun Club because I thought that was what it was at night. This was also the year of Typhoon Peggy. There was a girl in my class named Peggy and we made fun of her for being a scary typhoon.

1987: My first crush. His name was Brendan and he was half white and half Chinese. He liked my friend Fenella and used to chase her around the playground. At the end of the year we move to England. I’m sad because in England it is cold, we don’t own a boat, we don’t go to the beach every weekend, Nelia is not there to make my bed so I have to make it myself. We move because my parents believe my sister and I are becoming spoiled.

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