Roads, are only what I can think of whenever I hear the word childhood. It was more like a life pattern, that after two years wherever I was living, I have to farewell all things at that place, the people I knew in school or in the neighbourhood, the room I slept in, and the big dark green tree in which me and my brother played under and built our luxurious stones restaurant.
I still remember the first time my father told us that we will move next week to Khabourah, in Batinah region. I was six years old at that time. I did not know why we had to move and whether we are going to come back or not, but my mother was crying when she went to Aunt Badreia's house the day of our departure to farewell, and my sisters were crying too. Nothing mattered to me at that time more than keeping my blue blanket safe and win the fight against my little brother to have the window seat. So we left, ten times more.
In each of my first seven new schools my mother had to take me on my first day, and introduce me to the principal and one of the teachers who was going to teach me. She would take me to my class, where I felt like an alien. Everyone was staring at me, and waiting for me to introduce myself, and all I would say is, "Hi, my name is Huda". I did not think that I need to say more or they need to know anything else, but apparently they do because for two weeks I had to answer all their questions some of which were too stupid. Like one of the boys asked me "Do you know what falafels are?" – a kind of food made from chickpeas. Some of them started calling me Ibn Batutah when they knew that I had travelled to too many places.
Everyone was nice to me, and most of them wanted to be my friend, but I was pushing every one of them away the moment I realised that it is only a matter of time and I will move again. For me they were only 'Journey mates'.
People might think that it is awesome to travel around the country and get to know new people and places, but it was not for me. It is difficult for a child to just move away, change his school, and leave his friends and everything he had behind and start a totally new life with all its dimensions.
I believe that not one of us could deny that our childhood is what shapes our personality and who we are, therefore because of the way that I lived my childhood (moving all the time, making friends and leave them and pack all your stuff again some of which you have not even unpacked and it is likely to forget something, like part of you did not want to leave), I am not capable of making strong relations with anyone or anything around me.
On the other hand, I am very much capable of making a relation in a very short time, and it is an easy job for me to adapt with any situation and to leave anything behind and start over like nothing had happened, like I have just existed in the world and I need to start from the bottom. To some extent I am thankful for my father for being a judge.
By Huda al Riyami
Huda al Riyami is majoring in English Language and Literature at the Sultan Qaboos University