I have been here just long enough now for the novelty to have worn off and the reality to set in. There is not a lot to do here, especially on an evening. By 9pm everything is winding down. Used to being busy and always meeting new people, it has been a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be faced with nothing to do. My phone has broken and since then I have had limited access to the internet and thus to friends and family. Foolishly all my books and music are also inaccessible now, as they are also on my phone. I have felt it and for the first time I have found myself missing home on an evening.
Having said that, living with a two year old and a five year old means there is not much time to feel sorry for myself. Soon I find that my time is taken up chasing them around the living room or hiding under covers while another grown up pretends to look for us. It always makes me giggle when students from the school come round to buy whisky from Nuan on behalf of their parents (I assume) and I am being hauled around by a bossy two year old.
Someone once said that being a child is an excuse to act drunk and get away with it. Although this may be true, I think living with kids also means that adults end up acting drunk too (and getting away with it). I like this.
Here the play escalates quickly and always ends in tears, but this is not avoided, rather it seems, encouraged. The kids go wild and sometimes I find myself worrying they will crack their heads open on the hard tiled floor or the wooden corner jutting into the middle of the room. But of course this never happens. Instead they continue tearing around the room and, perhaps they fall, but at worst a few tears are shed and then the game continues.
Though I only live with two kids, it is common that there are many more around. Last night, at 8pm there was a knock at the door and Nuan’s sister arrived, with granddaughter strapped to her back with an old piece of blue cloth. The granddaughter was ill and they had come to use some of Nuan’s medicine. After the medicine was doled out on the end of the spoon, it was playtime. Nuan, who had been sleeping only a few moments before, donned a terrifying Halloween mask and chased the kids around the living room to much screaming and shouting. In all the excitement, the visiting little girl wet herself. A dribble of pee running down her leg and all over the floor.
Her trousers were quickly stripped off her and used to soak up the worst of it. The task finished with the scarf that had been wrapped around her Grandma’s head. After soaking up the pee, the towel went straight back onto her head.