What Is Your Earliest Memory?

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I am trying to remember what is the earliest event in my life that I remember. Sure enough, I don’t really remember myself being a baby in a diaper. But there are some remnants of memory in my brain that, I’m sure, happened before I was five years old. Some events even happened before I was three year old because I could remember them, even graphically, mainly because of a significant time marker in those events. Those events are as follows:

I remember my maternal grandfather passed away. This happened when I was about 2-3 year old and my sister was just a few months old. This might be the earliest memory that I could remember graphically in my brain. I remember approaching my grandpa’s body in the living room of his house and my aunt told me that grandpa was just sleeping and that he was going to some faraway place to be “repaired”. From then on, I believed that my grandpa will return to our family after the reparation is complete. A few years later, when I was in kindergarten or primary school, my grandpa’s younger brother came to my house for a visit. He really looked like my own grandpa, so I told him, “Hey, you’re back! Grandpa has been repaired!“. Of course everybody laughed at me, but I swear I was being damn serious about my statement at that time. From then on, my grandpa’s brother always addressed himself as the “repaired grandpa”.

I remember my old house in Bandung, in Jalan Wastukencana no. 4. Our family moved out of this house when I was about three or four year old, and if I could remember something from my old house, that must be before I was four. I could remember three events there:

  • I remember standing up on family dining table during dinner, and my older brothers and sisters was about to scold me when my dad told them not to, because I didn’t understand what I was doing. I also remember trying out chili sauce for the first time in my life and cried because of it.
  • I remember playing with an Ambonese lady, Tante Inne, who rented a room in that old house. I remember watching TVRI with her, and the song Potong Bebek Angsa was playing on TV with static slideshow of ducks illustration. Then my mom popped into the TV room to pick me up for dinner.
  • I remember taking a stroll around the city hall. My old house was just across Bandung city hall. After the stroll, we went to a house of an Indonesian chinese old couple, who happened to sell candy and sweets. The grandfather gave me free candy and I beamed.

I also remember moving out from my old house to a new house in Jalan Riau. I remember playing on the stack of kapuk mattresses that are waiting to be put into the individual room with my sister. We rolled the mattress to make a pipe-like tunnel and ran into it.

Those are the five significant events from before I was four year old, that are still etched into my memory vividly.

What is your earliest memory?


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