musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the Eyes of a Child

I never understood why there were such big walls at the end of the street. Baba tells me they're for my safety but I don't see why anyone would want to hurt me. Oh well, maybe Mustafa will want to ride bikes up and down the street. I wish Baba would let me ride beyond the wall; I just turned 7 and feel as if I'm more than prepared to take the plunge. 'Bad traffic' he says dismissively. Obviously he doesn't know that no more than 10 cars drive by every day; plus, he obviously hasn't seen me ride.

Here comes that tall guy again. I haven't decided whether I like him or not. True, he gave me a chocolate the other day and makes a feeble attempt at conversing with me every time he sees me. I don't think he remembers my name though.

I wish Zeyneb wasn't so bossy all the time. She thinks she runs the neighborhood and certainly me since I'm her younger brother. I hate how she treats me like I'm 6 still. One day I'll be taller than her and then she'll have to listen to me... or at least be nice to me. I tried talking to Baba about it once and he told me to go watch cartoons on the tv. My best friend Samir at school told me that he can only watch tv from 7 to 9 at night and that even if he wanted to after that he couldn't because the tv, nor the lights for that matter, won't come on no matter how hard you try. I told him his tv is probably broken and that he should get the type my family has - it works all the time.

I wonder why that tall guy smiles at all of us when he sees us. Little Yousif keeps giving him flowers every time he sees him - more often than not he can't find a flower so he gives him a dusty blade of grass. Yousif's 4; one day he'll be as old and wise as me and see that what these guys really want is to see you do cool tricks on your bicycle.

Every time the tall guy stops to talk to us a couple other guys that look kinda like my cousin but are not from around here come out from behind this gate across the street to watch. I wonder what's behind that gate. Mustafa told me there's a big dog back there that barked so much that its throat fell out, so now he's just mad all the time and bites anyone who is not allowed in but can't bark. He said his dad told him that so it must be true. I don't believe him, though; if there was a dog back there I would know about it.

All these people sure do seem nice. Unfortunately they don't speak how we speak. Even if they're late bloomers, I wonder why they didn't learn Arabic in Grade 1. One of them taught me how to say "my nahm es Muhammad" and do some awkward hand touching in the air thing. I'm assuming it's just a customary greeting in their language. Why I have to say my name every time... beats me.

Here he comes again, but this time he has a camera! I really like cameras. Maybe he'll let me touch it, then Zeyneb would be nice to me. I want to be a photographer one day, like Mustafa's uncle who traveled all the way across the world to take pictures of some pyramids in the desert. We don't have pyramids here. I want to travel there one day though to take pictures, if only Baba would let me ride my bike outside the walls...

Wait, I want to be in the picture too, wait for me!