Myself in Galkisa, shortly before we went to America, I think
I read HeyDude’s blog now and then, he tells some quite good stories. This is a classic about moving to another country, not having much money and loving your kid. I know a bit how it feels:
This story is not funny at all. We hadn’t brought much cash with us when we arrived here. And everything was unexpectedly, artificially and humorously expensive. What we had we had to spend so carefully till we got our first month’s salaries. The little one who had a roomful of toys at home (both his and his sister’s) was fingering the toys in the shops here and but never asked for them. We gritted our teeth and prayed for the salary.
This actually sank our hearts. Specially this unusual attitude from a four year old.He must have heard our discussions about money.
The final blow came when we got out first salaries. He asked in his baby voice, “Now do you have money to show my tooth to the dentist? This was hurting for days.”
Actually he never told us and I felt the lump in my throat and turned my face away to hide the tears welled up in y eyes and streamed down my face. It didn’t work and I ran to the bathroom and cried in the shower.
I try not to talk about family ever, but I do have some vague memories of when we moved to America. I was about five and spoke only Sinhala, being resolutely monolingual wherever I went. I’m not even sure if this memory is correct, but I remember going to a kid’s birthday party and giving him some jumping jacks and like a bouncy ball. All the other kids were giving big store-bought stuff.
Funny thing is, this isn’t a bad memory for me. I think my parents must have really hustled to make ends meet those first few years in America, but all my memories are pretty good.