In my previous blog, I mentioned that both my parents were farmers.  Growing up, all my siblings and I had to help our parents either in the Rice fields or where they planted the vegetables.  Not much technology and machinery to help and so it was hard back breaking work with so little money in return.

Most of the time we would have to work under the hot sun all day long.  But maybe I was too young to really notice how hard it was because I was just a child.  Maybe I spent most time playing instead of helping.

I was a very skinny, malnourished child with a big belly because we were always infected with worms!  Hand washing just involved getting the hands wet.  Also, forget about the 5 second rule if anything dropped on the floor – the floor itself was probably cleaner than my hands!

My face is full of the effect of sun damaged.  I remembered someone commented how it was my mother’s fault for not insisting on us wearing sunblock when we were younger.  I would have “Female Dog” slapped her, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt as she probably doesn’t know my background.

Not only had we never heard of such a thing as Sunblock, sometimes we couldn’t even afford to buy body soap!  Back home we had to buy the cheapest detergent in a form of soap block.  Its main purpose was for washing laundry, but we also used it to wash our dishes and, when we had nothing else, we also used it on our body and hair.  Oh dear me… our hair got do matted!  I think we had to apply homemade coconut oil or my father’s Brylcreem to untangle our hair.

Speaking of washing dishes, sometimes we couldn’t even afford a dish sponge, so we had to be resourceful.  We cut off a small piece of old mattress form and used it as dish sponge.  Actually, sometimes it was a mattress that one of us slept on.  I didn’t really have that luxury.  I mostly slept on a mat on a hard floor.

Most of my friends… well also my immediate family, know that despite growing up in those conditions, I somehow developed a super “everything is yucky” attitude towards many things.  My sisters used to call me Princess Diana (maybe because she was the only famous princess that my sisters have heard of at the time) because if I felt something was a little “yuck”, I would only hold it with two fingers, and walk on my tip toes.  I don’t think Lady Di acted that way, but apparently I was behaving like a spoilt princess in a wooden castle with rusted tin roofs and bamboo flooring!


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