Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The memories in this post have been on my mind for so long, but with the hectic life I have been leading lately I did not have time to write it down. Then, 3eeraqimedic wrote her post and I was reminded of my trip home from school , but again I did not have to write.. so its been delayed for quite some time..
My parents never approved of me walking home..i never understood their fear at the time.. whats wrong with coming home (meshee)?!.. the school wasn’t really far, well ok not that close.. the walk home took me about 30 minutes.. which was a long walk for me at that age.. my school was in an alley that led to the main street, a beautiful crowded noisy, broad street.. I would leave the school and walk to the main street.. filled with excitement and so very proud of myself.. im going home (meshee), which certainly makes me a big girl.. I was 8 or 9 at the time.. I would hang my (Aleeja – that was quite in style at the time !!) heavy with all my books on one shoulder, my hand holding it from falling , the other hand holding my (yomeyya – I think it was 1 Derham at the time.. wooow..!!) tightly..
Once I leave the alley, there used to be a Patisserie shop (not anymore of course).. the wonderful scent of fresh cake would be hanging in the air, attracting me towards the shop like magnet.. (Halaweyyat gold star) it was called – just before they decided to change all names into Arabic.. I would go in, fascinated by the whole experience, buying myself a piece of cake.. I still remember the small space, with me standing in front of the colored lines of square and rectangular cakes.. vanilla and fruit aroma filling the shop.. the (big) boy behind the glass counter following my eyes as they wonder from one colored piece to the other.. they even had cakes decorated with (green !!) cream, don’t know why (or how as a matter of fact!!) I would always go for the green one.. pale mint green.. I can still remember the taste of it.. sweet and creamy.. mmm.. like melted ice cream.. the (big boy) starts to get bored .. as it takes me forever to decide which one to pick.. the pink also looked tasty .. the white was never my favorite..the square ones were tempting.. they looked bigger .. but my eyes would always go back to the green one.. rectangular though it was, which makes it smaller.. well .. ok.. I ll have the green one.. and so I open my small hand , now clammy from tightly clutching the Derham.. and pay for my cake was 15 fils a piece ..!!!! big boy would hand it over half wrapped in a paper napkin.. I take it with great joy.. I thank him and turn to leave.. lucky him .. it must be the nicest thing in the world to work in this cake paradise..
I start my journey back home, walking ever so slowly so as not to drop the cake..i start eating it with such care.. it tasted so good.. I would like to stand an look at the flowers in the flower shop.. but the walk is still long and I shouldn’t be late.. oh and I would love to stop for a little and look at the nice pharmacists .. a man and his wife (I think) working in the famous pharmacy on the block.. still remember their faces..
I walk in a world of my own.. happy with my cake.. never bothered by the crowds and the loud horns.. it would be sunny and the weather is just great.. the sky used to be so a postcard.. a blue that existed only there, and then.. in Baghdad.. I walk and walk ..and cross the side pavement of the Baghdad fair.. it looked so huge to me then.. my parents used to take us there every year.. and we would go home carrying all sorts of gifts and nice things.. when I reach the colored design of Mataam Farooq, I would then cross the road to the public hadiqa, and im finally in our neighborhood ..
When I arrive at home.. I feel so filled with achievement and satisfaction.. im old enough to go home Meshee.. im a grown up now.. I even buy my own favorite cake.. from my own money ..(yomeyya)..
A scented small shop, a pale green cake, and a walk home .. that’s all it took to make me happy then.. how lucky we were.. how happy and peaceful life was..
We never thought at the time how sad we shall be when we look back years and years later..
We never realized..


3eeraqimedic said...

كلعادة ياسمين
نومي حلو
عليجه و كيك و مشي
من المدرسه للبيت ذكرتيني ايام الاعفاء من اروح اجيب اختي الصغبره من مدرستها
صدك احلى ايام عشناها
شوارع و مدن و بلد كامل ما بقالها اثر بره ذاكرتنا

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

dear 3eeraqi Medic,
the bitterness i blv is in the fact that we cannot blv or accept the fact it exists only in our memoroy, at least i for myself cant.. or maybe dont want to.. thats why i take trips back into the past.. i keep feeling that was the Real life not the one we r Now leading..
E'efaa.. wow.. another term from the past.. i might write a post ab it..

3eeraqimedic said...

يمكن عشر مرات قريت البوست و كل مرة الكه شغلة جديدة و كل مرة اودع بابتسامه جدبدة

Yasmin (Blanche) said...

dear 3eeraqi medic,
when i re - read my posts, i take the trip back once more.. and i feel sad once more.. for all the things that i miss today in my life.. thr thing -i think- with ppl like u, me, and maybe many of iraqis, is that we r always attached to our past in such a way, nothing else can make it up to us.. no matter what we have today, we keep wanting what we HAD..
Allah Kareem..

Little Penguin said...

Allah kareem, indeed..

I dont think it's strange to be so nostalgic and so eager to re-live the past even though our 'reality' wouldn't exted beyond a sound, a word, a smell or a face.

Somtimes I sit and watch the opening titles for old cartoons like Sinan, Lady Oscar, Adnan o Lina.. it's not just because they're wonderful stories that helped shape who I am today (seriously!) but because, as you so eloquently put it, they existed only there, and then..

My transition into 'responsible' childhood wasn't announced through going to school on foot because my school was too far that.. rather it was when mama finally let me make her tea.. I was eight..

When you spoke of your indecision to choose what to buy with your youmiyya I vividly recalled my trip a little shop near the 3imara we lived in.. I don't know what the shop's name was because I couldn't read yet, so me and my little sister decided on calling him 'abol shayib' coz he was old, white hare and thick glasses and he drove an old 'station' car which was sometimes filled with new bitha3a he had bought.. he'd always laugh at how tightly my sister clutched onto her single lera that only bought us two nuss-lera chewing-gums or one mussasa..

We didn't have money once and so we plucked up the courage to go to him and said "3ammo.. in6eena floos 7atta nishtiree fechi minnak"..

I think he liked us very much.. we certainly enjoyed going to his paradise of a baqqaliyya!

please write more..


Yasmin (Blanche) said...

dear Little Penguin,
how happy i am to read yr lines.. u were let me say that reading yr comment was like reading a post, so sweet, so innocent, i enjoyed ev word of it..u r really gifted for writing..
i in my turn, also ask U to write some more..
take care..