3. My childhood

 

The first thing I remember in my life was that my mother gave me a bath in the later afternoon and dressed me up smartly. I put on a hat and took my cane and went out for a walk with full of style and grace. The girls who were a bit older than me would come out from their houses, followed me around and teased me calling out, "Hey, watch Shwe Ba has come out." Shwe Ba was a famous movie star and stunt actor of my childhood. I got annoyed and chased them to hit with my cane. They ran around me dodging and shouting, "Lo! Shwe Ba is chasing us." At times, I did get hold of them and caned them hard. My sister would then come out to stop the show. This happened almost everyday, just before the sunset. After the sun set, my mother did not let me go out at all. Our front door neighbor has a little girl, Ma Kyi, who was of my age. We played together a lot. But, her parents moved to Rangoon and I never saw her again. Why do I mention all about the girls? It is because I do not remember any boys teasing or playing with me. My two brothers had their friends. I would say that there was no boy of my own age then.

 

I remember watching the thermometers floating in the big drums in which my father cooked his soap, when he started his soap industry. I still see these thermometers. As I grew big I used to ask my father about these thermometers. He said these are the special thermometers that could read the temperatures up to 200C and explained me about the Fahrenheit (F) and Celsius (C) scales. However, we never got into the topic of soap industry because it was a kind of wound in our family.

 

Very well, I remember that I cried over the cup of tea at the breakfast table. I finished the tea, I would point my finger at the empty cup and cried saying, "It is empty. It is empty." My mother would fill it up. Just like a ritual, I did it two times regularly and drank three cups of tea at my breakfast.

 

I cried before I go to school. My father walked me to school everyday. I was only 3 and half, then. I was afraid of my pre-KG teacher who had a big stomach. How could I know that it actually was her big baby bump? I cried so regular that I became a warning clock for the neighbors. My neighbors started getting busy saying, "Hurry, hurry. Get ready for school and office. Shwe Lu is already crying. It must be 8:30 already." Schools and offices start at nine in Burma in those days.

 

I shall tell you more later.

Shwe Lu Maung 2018

Copyright Shwe Lu Maung 2001-2018. I reserve all rights in all pages of my website www.shwelumaung.org. You are free to quote with due acknowledgement under the fair use of copyrights under the US and International copyright laws.

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