Childhood Memories: Jansait

Many times I’ve prided myself on the fact that I have a good memory for remembering things and people from my early childhood. Particularly people

I remember Aisha, the small girl with curly brown hair whose face is a blur now. I remember how once we had this bag of chips that we opened upside down, then one of the “elder” boys told us we should’ve opened it from the other side and offered to do it for us. So, we ended up with a bag of chips opened from both sides, going around the school yard trying to keep the chips from falling.

I remember Maram, one of my best friends since KG2 until the second grade. She had a full-moon face and short straight black hair that, along with her chubby cheeks made her look like a little cute mushroom. I still have my diary notebook, of course in those days we misunderstood the concept of a diary book, we thought people should write on it for you. We called it “daftar Zekra” (Memories notebook). I was kind of disappointed when I saw her few years ago and she couldn’t remember me. I felt like I want to show her what she wrote for me as an evidence. It was pretty funny actually, it goes like:

اشتقت إليكي، متى ستأتين؟ هل السبت أم الأحد أم الإثنين أم الثلاثاء أم الأربعاء أم الخميس أم الجمعة؟

I also remember the twins, Hala and Saba. I was probably the only one who could tell them from each other. I could do it just by looking at them. Yet, I couldn’t tell those 2 boys from each other, Naseem and Wessam. They weren’t twins, not even brothers, they were like best friends, always sitting to each other, their names sounded a bit similar and they even looked like each other to me.

I also remember Batool. My clearest memory of her is when she said: “Mish 3ayzaha.” I thought she had a weird accent.

I also remember Mansour, the skinny guy who once wrote my name on the board as على

I remember Lina, but this one needs a post of her own.

I also remember Imad, the redhead boy who was probably the nicest guy in the class. In fact, looking back now, I think he was somehow mature for his age. I remember how once my tools fell from my pencil case and scattered onto the ground. Some other boys were like: Yeeeeeeeh! But he was the only one who rushed to help me and said: Instead of saying this, come on and help her. Impressive!

I also remember Orouba, who was my best friend for one year. She was very fond of King Hussein and talked about him all the time. She said she loved him more than her parents because, as she put it, if you ask your mother for 1 JD, she’ll give you one JD, but if you ask the king for 1 JD, he’ll give you 1000 JDs. I don’t remember if I found that plausible, because my mind was occupied with the idea that my mother wouldn’t give me 1 JD when I was at that age. My daily allowance was 15 piasters, you do the math.

Another lovely memory I have of Orouba is when we once after classes went to wait for our buses in different rooms. Then, I saw her sneaking around in the corridor, and I yelled her name. She looked at me and yelled my name back eagerly, and we ran and hugged each other spontaneously as if we haven’t seen each other for years, not for less than hour. It has always been and still is hard for me to show such strong signs of affection, so I still cherish this moment till this day.

I also remember Hiba the blonde, Hiyam the brilliant painter and the tiwns Hind and Mohannad. Yet, the only person I can’t recall in anyway is Jansait.

From what they told me, Jansait was one year older than me and we were friends. We used to play in the school patio by the swings. My sister first tried to remind me of her when I was in the fourth or third grade, meaning one or two years after. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember her. Few years later in the sixth grade, when I somehow started to believe it was an illusion, my friend Mai told me that Jansait says hi. I pretended I had no trouble remembering her, but I really couldn’t remember anything.

It’s strange how selective memory can b, which makes me reconsider the thought. It may be hard to tell if you have a good memory or not, because you can tell what you remember, but you can never know what you’ve forgotten.

Originally Posted on Saturday, November 10, 2007 on


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