its not until you share what felt like very "normal" childhood stories with others that you realize perhaps your experiences were a little...unusual. my original "bestest friend" was also born in south africa, until her parents decided to move to the middle east, which is where we met. looking back, this is the first conversation i remember having where i/we realized and validated at the same time, being born somewhere, but not feeling or identifying that we were: proper noun + an/ish/ic/ian.
"...i remember when louise and i used to play with the silver bags used to hold the boxed wine her parents gave us (they gave us the inserts, not the wine) and we would blow them up into space shuttle looking "pillows" and pretend we were going camping. sometimes we would even take them to the pool and use them to float on..."
we were 7 years old.
this took place in the united arab emirates.
god i wish i had pictures.