Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My Father

For every bit of knowledge that I have acquired on my father, based either on knowledge acquired in school, or what I was told or through interaction, I am sure that there are other bits, that I do not know. For example, for a good number of years, my father spent time at a location that seemed to have been derived from another era.  There were the small stores with the cobbler and the tailor in one block, with another block containing a two story building which housed apartments or rooms which were available for rent either at a fairly cheap price or which was obtained through the provision of other services such as the vending of tickets at  the only cinema in the area.  Not to be prejudiced, but these places were built out of concrete blocks and  seemed to be of a quality which was comparable to buildings in other "better off" areas, yet  they were located in a part of town which would not have been called "well off". God alone knows what the earnings on these buildings were, whether they ever paid for themselves or whether the act of providing decent housing mattered more than cash flow or profit. Along with  this desire to provide decent housing (which may not have related to my father), was respect for the elderly.  This was seen in the visits to the "old couple" who retained a way of life that they seemed to have had for years. One of the habits was buying fish in the market every day which was  to be cooked in olive oil and was to be eaten with ground provision. I am not sure if this eating of fish arose from a bet he had made with these persons or from a good Catholic background which was no longer  admitted to.
Another  bit of knowledge came  in the various sources of knowledge which he possessed. For all of my learnings, I could not understand or determine the source of his information, as all of it just did not add up for me. Maybe I did not want to speculate at that time, as it would have seemed to be an invasion of his privacy. 
Over the last few years, in the course of my travels to the various islands,  when I see the similarity in the buildings, I cannot help but wonder, was my father here and at what point in time and what was the impact of this place on him. 

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