My first 29 years

 

Just so you know who writes this stuff, below is a little information about me, an insider’s view, or what hip teenagers today call a ‘411’:

 

I was conceived on a balmy evening on or around October 11th 1975, after, probably, a good meze, a little too much to drink, and a decision by two young, happily married people to further disrupt their lives and sleeping patterns by having yet another hyperactive little baby run around the house screaming and throwing about its toys.

 

Little Natasha was safely tucked away in bed, oblivious to the fact that her life would be seriously affected by the arrival of a ruddy little bundle that cried and giggled for no reason, and dribbled and pooped all over the place, as she had once done. Fortunately the defecation and dribbling have since stopped. I still have problems controlling the other two.

 

I remember the first few year of school vividly- getting to know people, making the kind of friends that last a lifetime, struggling to keep up, singing nursery rhymes and learning the alphabet and how to tie my shoes. .The teachers graded everyone with a star-shaped sticker in their workbooks. They were colour coded, although it took us kids a while to understand how, and no one ever wanted to admit it: gold star for ‘good work’, silver for ‘nice try’, blue for ‘your parents should’ve used birth control’.

 

The playground at school seemed like a universe. A small cluster of trees was a forest, the sandpit used for long-jump was the Sahara. Everything is big when you’re little.

 

Thirteen years later, though, all of us had had enough and we were off to university, to get a degree and rack up debts. The most useful things you learn at university are never taught in classes. A lecture on climatology or advanced mechanics can never teach you about life. Then again, that may have been one of the lectures I skipped.

 

What I got out of studying was more than the degree that I’ve proudly placed behind me on the wall in order to impress people and which, in any case, has so far failed to do so. University allowed me to make new friends, learn about other people and how they lived, and live life as an adult for the very first time.

 

And that helped make me who I am. I’m 29 years of age, relaxed, liberal and easy-going. I like music and film, reading, writing, cooking up a storm, driving around the countryside, and watching football. I play the guitar, but very badly. I don't smoke, I drink only mineral water, vodka and mojitos, which I concoct myself in order to poison my houseguests, and I don't do drugs. And what is more- and I can say this with certainty- at least I never got a blue star.

 

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