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Back In The Day

You think you've got it rough? You should have been around when I was a kid. Our whole family lived in an ornate wikiup in Mozambique.

We ate nothing but mulligan stew and waffles and we drank cups of hot chocolate, and we were glad to have them. Sometimes on Saturdays we had falafel. I slept on a bench in the library. My six sisters slept in the closet.

I had to get up every morning at five to feed the hog and the pigeon. After that, I had to scrub the salon and unwrap the stone.

I walked eight kilometers through thunderstorms and humid days to get to school every morning, wearing only a hoop skirt and a motorcycle helmet. We had to learn sociology and calculus, all in the space of twenty days.

Mom worked hard, making hand-made notebooks by hand and selling them for only twelve guineas each. She had to shove every notebook eleven times.

Dad worked as a choir director and earned only seventy-three pennies a day. We couldn't afford any crutches, so we made do with only a stopwatch.

In spite of all the hardships, we grew up stinky and slimy.