Adventures in Mutwal:
Back in Mutwal, I found myself in a Christian Brothers boarding school at the on the cusp of puberty. Honestly, I was disoriented, not having a clue about the happenings around me. The beach adjacent to the school was my refuge, a much-needed spot to unwind. Which youngster doesn’t appreciate a good beach, eh?
Navigating interactions with the older lads was a bit of a puzzle. It seemed like they were struggling to decode me and to be honest, I was just as clueless about engaging in banter with them. It felt like a conundrum as if we were all attempting to figure out where we fit in the grand scheme.
Now, picture this: They were a whopping four years my senior. They had their exclusive clique, giving us young guns the cold shoulder. We were like invisible sidekicks, the Robin to their Batman.
Then there were the blokes around my age, a year here and there. You know, the in-between warriors caught between the elders and the fledgling rookies. It was a comedic age hierarchy, where the older ones acted like they possessed a backstage pass to life, and the rest of us were trying to decipher the opening act.
Some struggled with English. Some were sharp; some were a bit dim. Especially the ones from the rural coastal villages who were uprooted from their families. Perhaps their folks couldn’t muster the funds to keep them at home. What better move than tossing them in with God? Good riddance!
It was an interesting bunch, I must say. We encountered language hurdles — English wasn’t everyone’s forte.
I reckon it was a wild mix of older lads, young ones, linguistic puzzles, and a touch of divine intervention.
Here’s the twist : these less fortunate folks secured three square meals daily and a smidgen of education. Not hitting the jackpot, but it’s something, right? The less privileged ones had to settle for the local school because, fair dinkum, St. Benedict’s mega-school acted all high and mighty. It was like they had a velvet rope proclaiming, “Sorry, mate, the VIP section is reserved for the elite. You, my friend, are on the general admission list.” Life threw curveballs, forcing the less privileged to attend the local, less-equipped school while the swanky educational palace remained a mystical fortress in the clouds. Talk about a comedy of educational blunders!
Hold on to your hat for this one — back in the day, this boarding school had a bit of a buzz outside. Picture this: a shop peddling everything from milk to lollies, pens, and, believe it or not, jockstraps. Yes, you heard it right, jockstraps — a necessity for the blokes whose bits were having a growth spurt Olympics, outpacing the rest of their bodies. Talk about a circus act!
Here’s the kicker: those poor blokes on a budget couldn’t even dream of splurging on a milk bottle. They were donning undies made of cloth, the true champions of thriftiness. It was like a tragicomedy where the struggle for a sip of milk collided with the fashion statement of cloth undies. Ah, the things we do for growth spurts and a good laugh!
Blokes wore crucifixes and attended mass every day. Some beach boys even joined the holy parade. Cheers to divine intervention and a bit of spiritual surfing!
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