I was at the children’s home on Sunday afternoon and unlike any other day, this time not one of the kids was in sight. It turned out that it was their nap time. It was surreal and quiet, the resident volunteers were ironing the uniforms or folding the laundry, the television was turned off and the curtains were drawn. A tap was leaking. The fridge was purring. The ceiling fan was making its usual rounds.
While waiting for the rest to arrive, I took the chance to photograph little plastic figurines in their shelves. I found the green-eyed gorilla especially intriguing. I named him The Jealous Boyfriend. And then there was The Brave Hippo. I don’t know which kid set the scene up, but I love the one-scene narration-thing. The kids love the hippopotamus.
Then I found these little grocery lists securely fitted underneath the glass of the glass-paneled table. There’s something about finding grocery lists… it’s almost like snooping through the fridge or the dustbin. Or like the work of a detective or a private investigator.
Here’s the breakdown with English translation:
– Sabun cuci kain (laundry detergent)
– Susu powder (milk powder)
– Susu tin (evaporated milk)
– Milo (I love this, I could eat this on its own)
– Beras (rice)
– Jem (jam, usually strawberry)
– Kaya (a spread made from coconut, eggs, sugar and pandan flavoring)
– Gula (sugar)
– Sardien [sic] (sardine)
– Ubat mop lantai (floor detergent or literally, medicine mop floor)
– Syampoo (shampoo)
What’s missing is ghee. They never run out of it.
But the silence did not last. One kid spotted me from his room. He wriggled and stood up on his bed to get my attention. And he did get it. When a resident volunteer walked pass, he’d burry his face into his pillow. It’s routine by now. He’d pretend to be asleep and I would pretend to be looking around like I was lost. But I think the resident volunteer knew and was only playing along.
We had fun while it lasted.
And I finally have a new template to play with.