#Writing101 Was Life Simpler?

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

To start off, I’ve never been the adventurous type. Not for the reason that adventure does not appeal to me, but for the reason that an adventure is pointless, if the company isn’t right.

Thus, with my new-found powers of zooming through space that Writing 101 bestowed upon me, I would wish to zoom not only to a place, but also to a time. Enjoy

It is pre-World War 2. I woke up to the sounds of, no, not guns, but a cock. Alarm clocks weren’t invented back then. It was the pre-electricity age, and everything was simple. I changed my shirt. The singlet I wore to sleep was drenched in sweat. We relied on the natural night wind to cool us while we slept, but it is not uncommon that it lets us down. Nor, did it occur to me what shirt to pick for the day. My wardrobe consisted entirely of white singlets. Life was that simple. And when I say wardrobe, I mean a small box with rat-gnaws at the corners.


I went out to the frontyard to get some water to gargle to start the day. But when I lifted the lid off of our mini-reservoir, the water-level was so low and I had to reach in really deep to fetch a tiny cupful of water. I gargled and I spit. Then I took the water buckets from the corner of the kitchen.

Our donkey that was tied to the post beside the reservoir was braying when it saw me. I kept my hand safely away from the donkeys fur as I rode it to the river. The journey there was uneventful as I melted under the morning sun, which made me and my brain lazy.


The sun was high in the sky when I finally arrived. Once again, my singlet was drenched in sweat. It made me wonder why I bothered to change. I fastened the donkey to a post nearby using a knot that my hands were so familiar with. Then I unloaded the buckets off of the donkey and carried it to the river. The riverbank was rocky and my straw slippers was of little help in cushioning my feet. The rocks did make for a good feet massage, however. Life’s simpler pleasures.

I squat by the river with my colony of buckets. Then, one by one, I filled them up. There was no point in being careful to fill them completely, since Donkey would take pleasure in deliberately splashing the water onto itself to cool itself, so most of them were two-thirds full. I took my time, since the riverside was shady and the river water was peaceful and cooling.

(cooling does seem to come into the story often heh? I figure it’s because I perceive it to be hot hot hot in the pre-electricity era)

By the time the last bucket was back on donkey and secured, the sun was no longer at its zenith, which made me feel grateful. Time was unimportant to me, and the sensation of a wasted morning was alien and foreign to me. (Pretty much the opposite of the real me.) Oddly, I still felt tired and lacking energy as I rode Donkey home.

My hands fumbled with the knot when I reached my home. Ma was home and was harvesting the onions, in the frontyard, next to our donkey’s post.

“Gia zui ah?” she casually asked. It is Hokkien for ‘Fetched the water?’

I replied a monosyllabic ‘Ah!” to indicate a yes.

(Shouldn’t the buckets speak for themselves though?)

I unloaded the buckets, two at a time, which was half of my usual load. I still felt a lack of energy and so I reduced my load.

I was panting hard by the time I filled our mini-reservoir. But it was full now, and I was happy. I then moved on to my next task of the day, which was to help prepare dinner. (I realize I skipped lunch. But then I decided, we probably could only afford one meal a day.)

But after I replaced the lid on the reservoir, (which was extraordinarily heavy, mind you) I felt light headed, and unconsciousness began to eat away the corners of my vision like a malevolent virus. Then I slumped on the ground.


#Writing101 Was Life Simpler?

16 thoughts on “#Writing101 Was Life Simpler?

      1. Sadly, that’s just one of the many reasons. I’m neither fluent nor confident in speaking it. I just know some basic words to order food and hold a conversation with my grandparents (just barely a conversation. Maybe it doesn’t even count as one) . What about you? 🙂


      2. I am Teochew but I speak Cantonese only, because I grew up in Hong Kong. I can’t speak other dialects, but too many people in Singapore speak Hokkien so I can understand a little.


      3. I am stationed in Singapore. Yeah I could. Whether it is accurate or not, I don’t think I am a very good judge because I am not a native speaker. I cannot even speak; I only understand a few phrases.


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