Things were good these days – at least as far as I was concerned. The wonderful family I lived with consisted of my third grade teacher who originally was from Illinois and her British husband who was in the Royal Air Force. They had two daughters just a few years younger than me. It really was a good living arrangement for me.
Sure we went to school and did all that but there were also other fun memories. Wednesday night Amah’s (maid or servant) market was a favorite of mine. It was an open air affair with stalls on each side of the walkway. It was primarily food if I recall correctly. Yes, this was in the 1960’s so I suppose I must admit that it might have been a bit – or should I say a lot – dirty and smelly. But it is a smell that I actually sometimes miss. But what I miss the most is the satay we would purchase and eat for dinner while we walked along looking and purchasing other things. It really was wonderful. To this day when I see satay on a menu I must order it. But sadly nothing so far has come close to what I remember. And yes, it most likely had a lot to do with the atmosphere, the smell and just everything else surrounding me.
I don’t recall exactly where we would go but we also raced go-karts. Now that was total undeniable fun! It was actually a pretty big course. Ok, I was 11. Maybe it wasn’t all that big but it sure felt like it was. I think that was one thing – among others – that I missed when we left.
The maid, Sue, was Chinese and I’m sure not much older than myself. She and I actually became pretty good friends and she was in the process of teaching me Chinese when we had to leave. Oh how I wish I had kept up with that.
School was also very interesting. It was K through 12 all in one building. At that time there were probably no more than about 350 students total. And we did everything regardless of the grade you were in. We all went to the various games, though I remember the basketball ones the most. We all went to the dances no matter the age. We had friends of every age, or at least knew pretty much everyone.
Oh and one cannot forget the American Club. Oh what a great place that was. There you could get a wonderful hamburger and feel pretty much like you were back in the states. But they also showed movies and had a bowling alley downstairs. Again there seemed to be no age discrimination there at all. Oh, and did I mention that there was no race or religious discrimination in the school? None of that ever seemed to matter. In fact I don’t ever recall thinking about a person’s skin color or where they were from. It really made no difference.
It really was a wonderful life we were living. And we had vacations every three months. Oh but we will discuss those later…