Childhood

I am watching my son growing up everyday and from time to time I can't stop thinking how childhood occupied a special place within all memories acquired in everybody's life. I tend to think that this is not because we memorized childhood better than any other period of life, it's more that, comparing to adolescence and later time, those moments are pure and clean, with no much tension, conflicts or seriousness of adult life. This is all about playing, learning new things and enjoying pleasurable moments and events and we are simply programmed to maintain nice memories better while others not so pleasurable store deeply in remote regions of our brains with tendency of quick forgetting.

Hairdresser Shop

Today one small visit to hairdresser triggered extraction of some really nice memories from my childhood. This morning I took a walk to downtown for some errands and decided to take some shortcuts through couple of blocks where we lived most of my childhood. It was an old house my grandfather and his father built decade or so after second world war where we lived in a ground floor apartment while my grand parents were situated floor up. It was a house with very nice front yard full of trees and flowers and in the back were small ancillary buildings, garages, workshop and miniaturized chicken roost where my grand mother produced nice fresh domesticated eggs. Chickens too. She was master of preparing chicken soup from prime ingredients, meaning killing the bird, taking off all the feathers, taking out all the inner organs and cooking the dish at the end. I remember once I had to catch runaway chicken that slipped out of my grandmother's hands and escaped to front yard - all that without it's head. Ok, that wasn't one of those nice memories I wanted to share in the first place, but still a proud boy's experience not everybody can share. That said, let's get back to the main story. Our house was, not so long time ago, tore down and new residential building was built on it's foundation. This morning following my route to downtown I walked into the street where our house was and saw new hairdresser shop in the front of new building along with new bakery shop next to it. My hear doesn't require much maintenance but yesterday was also the summer solstice day, also know as the day when I cut my hair to summer length so after little hesitation I decided to stop by.

The main room was located (coordinately speaking) in the same spot where our living room was 40 years ago when I was the age of my son now. All the memories all the sudden started to emerge, even those vivid images of the room back in time. I was the only customer and I sat on the chair on the same spot where our old black and white TV set was placed and perhaps one of the immediate emotion was created by the memory of the day when my parents bought a brand new, state of the art, color TV set. I remember it barely fit the old TV spot in the large living room cabinet. This was a change comparable with nowadays switch from old small CRT television sets into large flat LCDs only with more enthusiasm simply because today we take modern innovative gadgets for granted more that it was the case in the past.

Then and Now

In the middle of the haircut, the hairdresser was interrupted for couple of minutes and instinctively I glimpsed the rest of the room in all directions and maybe even for a moment I was able to see the past. All the mirrors, the hairdresser gear and tools, chairs, waiting room, photos on the wall started and faded out in front of my eyes and morphed into our small table, two armchairs and a couch my father made along with many other furniture in other rooms. I also saw the kitchen, big dining table, the old big telephone in the corner of the hallway and iron bunk bed for my sister and me, positioned exactly 5 meters away from my current position and located in the bedroom or within the next door bakery shop as in today. I was proud of my upper bed where I spent lots of time as a boy, especially during winter times. This was also the playing ground for us kids where we were doing homework and also performing Johnny Weissmuller's jumps from the upper bed down to my parents double. Summers were different, almost every suitable moments we spent outside in the front yard garden where we used to have dinners and meals at the big round stone table under the cherry tree higher than the house itself. I was able to cross from one tree to another like a small monkey and later when I got little older this was my club house where I used to read comics and magazines. I remember once I twisted my ankle in school and got myself a leg immobilizer for three weeks which I spent entirely under the cherry tree in the special temporary bed my mother made for me. I was deeply touched when my complete class from school came to visit me the first day of my school absence.

We moved to new house when I was about 11 years old, but that first decade of my life will always stay the most memorable of them all so far. The plot where the front yard was located is still intact next to the new building but all the trees are long gone along with all the magic I experienced in there. One of the events I also remembered today was a night we spent in the open in that very front yard after a big earthquake happened in Romania back in the year of 1977. There are lots of more memories of that period in time but I will stop here. After all this is not a book of memories or anything, just a small flashback popped out of my head today. I also didn't include many covering photographs in order not to spoil the words just these three portraying the place now and then. First image above is the hairdresser shop taken by my smart phone and I am sorry you can't see my state of the art and ultra fashionable haircut cause of the flash light but I kinda did that on purpose. However I will be returning here and not just for memories from my past but also because of great service and I mean it fully when I let somebody to carry scissors and sharp tools so close to my head. Seriously, I had once a bad experience with sharp razor having close encounter with my right ear and from that time I am always having chills and goosebumps when I need haircut. Second photo I made out of two images of the same spot. Left is me around the year of 1972 (perhaps the year or two later but I can't be sure) and in the background you can see part of the house with two windows that are now hairdresser and bakery shops (shown on the right).

Batteries not included

So there you go, I might have been a little bit emotional in this post but having a public journal like this is maybe why I started this blog in the first place so I could be able to remember and write about interesting events in my life I stumble upon from time to time.