The Red Book - Younger Years

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

As a kid, I was always surrounded by technologies without ever fully appreciating those things. Our family, for example, was one of the first in our neighborhood to get a telephone line, a working personal computer, and air conditioning. To me, the phone was just an entertainment device. The 80's was the golden age of prank calling for me. People did not have CallerIDs, and I was too young to take responsibility for my actions. The personal computer was just one way for me to play pacman back in 1986 - I only later learned how much potential the Commodore64 had (it had a workable modem and a programming language of its own, for example). As for the air conditioning, it was just an excuse to snuggle up to my mom.

It was also at this age that I had my first taste of beer. I hated it. It tasted bitter and I never forgot how horrible it was, ensuring that I wouldn't take another sip until I got stupid again and started experimenting drinking during my late adolescence.

Parents, take heed. If you want your kids to stay away from smoking, drugs, alcohol, and sex with women, expose them to those things before they are at an age where they can enjoy it. They will be so horrified that they'd unconsciously stay away from the vices for a very long time.

Although the sex with women part, I cannot really guarantee it'd work as effectively. Even in my earliest memories, I loved looking at panties and naked chicks. It seemed that my voyeurism started very early in life - and I got "kuliti" at age three, supposedly for trying to get an upskirt view of my Tita. I guess if you need to scare kids from sex, you just have to tape their birth video and play it in reverse, all the while saying that's what happens to kids who like nakedness. I haven't seen it in practice, but I have a good hunch it works.

Going back on the subject of drinking, I stopped drinking milk even before I hit the first year of my life. People kept telling me that I won't get strong bones if I did that. You know what else makes sure you have strong bones? Not getting any of them broken by playing stupid rough games like "climb the water tower and fall". I don't remember being breastfed by my mother either, and I think she never did. I did have memories of being breastfed by my other tita, however, I'm just not sure how accurate that memory is.

The average human's memory only starts at beyond 3 years old so any memories earlier than that might just be you fantasizing about thing, but let's not go there.

Anyway, instead of milk,my mom introduced me to calamansi juice. It was love at first sip, dooming me to a future of very vibrant skin and hyperacidity. It's also because of this that I couldn't drink plain old water the earliest years of my life. You know that feeling of feeling that water tastes bitter after drinking sour lemonade? Think of my experience like that, multiplied many times over because juice was my staple drink. Anything but water.

Later on, when we migrated to Saudi Arabia, we couldn't find any calamansi so I had to switch to handsqueezed lemons. Yeah, so mothers, take a moment to reflect. If you think mixing up instant milk for your kids is tough, try making lemon juice everytime your kids want a drink. I was that high maintenance.

I'm not sure how I managed to overcome the whole bitterness problem. Maybe I went to rehab. My memory doesn't cover that much, and I have this bad habit of forgetting painful memories.

One thing I didn't really lack as a kid was imported toys. My dad was an engineer in Saudi at the time and he always brought toys for me and my sister whenever he could, easily filling a room in the house that we fondly called "palaruan". Always very messy, there came a point where I had to walk on toys because the floor was already covered with them.

I later learned that the room was supposed to be my room, but I was just too much of a sissy to sleep alone in the dark to sleep there.

In my defense, the dolls looked really menacing.

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