For many of us from mainland China, no matter from small, medium, or large families, from cities or countries, sharing rooms is very typical during our childhood and teenage time. My family started from a two bedroomed unit, later to a 3-bedroomed one. Since then a family of two children, my younger sister and I each had a bedroom. But in fact my bedroom did not only belong to myself, it was only the room where I sleep and study, so was my sister’s. A lot family stuffs were jammed into every corner of the not so big building unit. During daytime, my parents constantly got into my room taking whatever needed. My bedroom door remained open for most times including bedtimes.
When got older but still lingered to our parents, we started to grow more independency and also needed more space and to expend our mental territory. Within the very limited physical distance, privacy was only a luxury dream, or, I might not even have had a dream of privacy. Don’t laugh at me, hey, babie, I was born and grew up this way. From positive side, this habitat might help to build up tighter family bound of common Chinese families. Everywhere and anytime, you could feel the watchful eyes of your parents. Countless times I got caught playing during study times. Did I really have play time? Not much if not none, I thought my times were only dining and studying. Parents sneaked in and watched over your shoulders, hey, there went your novels. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents for whole heart and soul, only the lingering love might sometimes tired me up a little bit.
When at home, nowhere and no time, I was not under the supervision and monitor of my parents, except… … except one place and one time… …the washroom and stooling time. Being adolescence I had all good reasons to latch the door when I was in. I cherished the feeling of releasing burden and the moment truly by myself. Though I had been warned from time to time not to take any books into the washroom, I always managed to sneak one, even during hot summer time wearing only a short. Don’t ask me how. I always spent more time than I should inside the washroom, on the toilet to be exact, enjoyed the moment of quietness and solitariness. Less than half of my reading before my 20s might be done on toilets.
Do you remember to write any family topic assignments at school? Several times for me, in my middle school as a growing teen with more of own mindset when I received the writing assignment “ Your favorite room”, I with no hesitation wrote: My favorite room is the washroom, my favorite seat is the toilet… It is said earlier living habits could last for a whole life. It’s so true to me, the toilet complexity has been affecting me till now.
Memory is a bittersweet thing, innocence has left me long long time ago, life is a one way ticket, there is no way going back. But whenever I remember the good old days, it’s all full of happiness and sweetness. Bitterness? I forgot somehow… …