Every now and again we loved to put on a videotape and turn up the volume (our favourite was a fairy tale about the “Three Little Pigs”). We opened the windows and observed the reactions of people.
Football at 10 years old every day for 10 hours. Of course, teams were divided by nationalities and God forbid we started discussing the rules.
Running down the top floor and looking out the stairwell windows – feeling like an arrow.
We had just moved into our two-bedroom flat in the recently built house. It was very early spring. Many kids wandered in the yard. Lots of kids started to gather around a large pit, filled with muddy brown water. One boy had brought out his hamster to show another boy (hamsters were very rare at those times). There was squabbling about whether or not the hamster could swim. Until the owner of the hamster decided to test the theory of his hamster’s swimming skills. The hamster drowned. The owner dressed down to his panties and jumped in the brown muddy water to search for the hamster. One mum ran in horror and with loud yelling stopped this hullabaloo. I remember so well how the skinny boy covered with muddy water, his ribs sticking out – shivering from cold as well as he tried, but couldn’t put on his sock on his wet foot. The mum was shouting in horror and ordered to immediately go home. Others stood in silence. Only one girl was brave to speak up: “But his hamster drowned.” Others looked at her in gratitude. The sentence and tone told everything adults don’t understand anymore.
Well, once in my blockhouse many of my peers lived, practically on every floor there was a friend with whom you could play.
Visiting my neighbour on the sixth floor (I lived on the first) was like going to the “center.” Everything was an adventure. I presume it’s because of my size back then. I lived in the Pļavnieki district until I was ten years old. Later the flat was cleaned up, and we left. But this fabulous moment of my childhood is pressed into my memory.
We climbed with my friend on the roof and found a lot of pigeon skeletons in the attic. It was nice until we got to climb down. It turns out it is not that īzī (easy) to climb down the metal stairs while seeing all the way to the first floor.
In childhood, everything was an adventure. Yard was the center of life. Many friends. At least one friend in each stairwell. I remember how my friend/neighbour, who lived upstairs, and I figured out several ways of communication. Although it was sooner to call on the phone, we still had two more ways of communicating. Moneybox in a rope, where we put in messages and delivered through balcony; and communication via pipes. If I remember correctly, three bangs meant “let’s go out?” one meant “yes,” and two bangs “no.” And if you couldn’t understand, there was always a possibility to yell. You could hear especially well in the bathroom.
I don’t know why, but we pulled logos from cars. I really don’t get why.
The front house was not finished so cranes and building materials were standing there for a long time. After some time the house caved in. We spent part of our childhood roaming this unfinished house, we played as if they are our flats, and knocked down unstable walls.
Sometimes we had to run from babes who wanted to beat us.
We wore our mum’s heels while playing. I remember the most how we prepared the LipSync pop concert for our parents by dressing up etc. When a show for one’s parents ended, we went one floor down to the other’s parents to repeat it.
Lots of razborki*.
*razborki – fights
While playing the ball, I accidentally broke the stairwell’s door, and glass smashed into my face. I need stitches because the pieces of glass go through my chin.
To level up to “boss” – get into the attic.
I grew up in a block house. We moved in when I was a couple of months old and moved out when I was like 17. Once I threw my porridge outside the window and it landed on my first-floor neighbour, who was weeding out her flower bed at that time. She was angry. I was afraid of going out for some time. And then we almost burnt the neighbours’ flat downstairs. We were making a fire with my friend on the balcony and the wind blew a burning paper sheet into theirs. I don’t remember how, but it ended well. I spent a lot of time in the courtyard. We were doing Chinese rope, playing hide and seek (through the whole district), blind chicken, buried “secrets” in the ground – a glass covering colorful candy paper and other bright stuff. We spent winters on the hill in the sports field of the nearby school. Or on the skating ring, which was made every year when the frost came. In childhood, I climbed trees a lot, did some tricks, and played in the playground, and I regularly got some injuries. They already knew me by name in the emergency room.
A blockhouse means home and family – with everything emotionally dear and lovely.
I met my other half there when I was ten years old. And now we are 35 years old.
My classmate put his head through the railings but couldn’t pull it out.