Alula and I are talking over a soft boiled egg and soldiers.
Alula do you remember travelling?
You don’t remember anything – anything at all?
What about living in India – remember the beach? Remember going to school with Dumpie?
Um, no… I remember Egg though. (her first big crush)
What about getting the train in India and we squidged up in a bunk together?
What’s a bunk?
Ok, what about washing the elephant?
Oh yes, I remember that…I think.
Right, what about the tuk tuks? Driving through the streets of Mumbai – remember that?
Oh yeah, tuk tuks. They’re alive.
Well they’re like cars. They’re not alive alive.
YES. THEY ARE.
Ok, whatever. Do you remember going to the zoo in Singapore?
So that whole day I spent dragging you around in 100% humidity until I wanted to cry, you don’t remember?
No. Were there animals?
Yes. What about America? Do you remember Kerrie and Jamieson?
Oh yes, Kerrie, with the long long hair like Rapunzel?
Yes! Do you remember staying with them?
Well do you remember Disneyland?
Oh yeah, we saw Aurora’s castle. Why wasn’t she at home mummy? Where did she go?
I think she went off to get married to the Prince.
But why didn’t they get married in the castle?
Because they had to get married in his castle. What about Australia? Do you remember going there? We rode bicycles around the bay. You were on the back of daddy’s.
Were you too?
No. What about Yosemite?
Nonno and Nonna meeting us in Malaysia?
All those trains, planes and automobiles?
I’m starting to think we should have just left you at home.
Ini tidak kuning, Lula says. (Translation: that’s not yellow).
I look at her, she’s starting to spout random bits of Indonesian and right after finishing her egg and soldiers she speeds out the house, strips naked and starts running laps around the house in only a pair of pink crocs shrieking happily under a monsooning sky.
Ini tidak kuning she yells.
She might have forgotten the detail of travelling, but who she is, in every moment, is a sum of those forgotten months.