On Sunday I took a walk back in time on that familiar road that led me from my grandma's house to school. Almost everything has changed along Tabuan Road since those days in the seventies but in my mind, the row of single storey shops are still there where in one of them, a man and his son sold deep fried fritters from the five foot way. The customers took away the foot-long fritters in a parcel fashioned from yesterday's news and a length of string. There was often a queue of customers waiting for this breakfast delicacy; usually dunked in sweet coffee before that delicious first bite.
Beyond the shops is a tall metal fence, and behind them; the
town prison with its barred windows.
Further down the road just as it is about to turn up McDougall Hill, a
solitary tree on a triangular piece of land which is the traffic island
and local landmark - "sa-kak-po"
On rainy days, my grandmother would drive the neighbour's children and I to school and along the way, she often stops to pick up my class-mates; saving them from a wet walk to class. In that ten- minute drive, the car would fill up with up to half a dozen school children who were just happy to have a break from routine - talking loudly and jostling for space.
Some of my companions this Sunday were equally boisterous and energetic - some young and some not-so-young, scattered throughout the vicinity of my childhood memories in the late afternoon.
One of the many joys of living in a small-ish city where most people know one another, and are generous and inclusive. I'll give George some of my postcard sketches as payment for the pizzas and beers.