Living on an island: a small world

islanderlife

Childhood is certainly the most important part of your life: the part where you learn the “basics”, where you have your first friends, where you still have your innocence and where you keep the best memories (or the worst) that will affect your life as you grow up.

When I was twelve, I was living in Tahiti, a small island located in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. Small but pretty. Pretty but also ugly. Ugly but also wonderful. Living on an island was a good thing for me, as it allowed me to live “comfortably” most of the time and to escape the harsh reality of the world.

On an island, houses are either near the beaches, or towards the mountains located towards the center of the island. I was among those living near the a mountain. Islands are small, so there is a high chance you will live next to someone you already know, or live next to someone who knows a person you already know yourself. My neighbours were members of my own family. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Well, I was living in my grandmother’s house. I moved there with my mother after my parents got separated. It was an old house made of wood — the kind of house you don’t see anymore in developed countries. No door. Missing windows. The house could be described as an open house. Well the good point was that we didn’t have to worry about thieves since we knew everyone.

We were a lot to live in my grandmother’s house. Three families. One single uncle. One single aunt. One aunt who appeared from time to time. I used to spend a lot of time with my cousins — two girls younger than me. We would play a lot together, or talk about anything around the table in the living room. We would often invite other cousins living in the neighbourhood and spend time together. Football. Tennis. Cards. The number of games we played was just so great that I can’t remember all of them. The warm feeling I got back then is all I kept.

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