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monday refugee funnies – daylight saving

June 20, 2011

When I was in year one, my mum would drop me off at my best friend’s Ellie’s house each morning on her way to work rather than cart me off to before-and-after-school-care (which I hated).

One Monday morning in Spring, my mum dropped me off at the usual time of 8.00 am outside my Ellie’s house. But when I knocked on the front door, Mrs. E was surprised to see me there. She asked me if my mum had a meeting or had to start earlier than normal. Confused, I responded no.

Mrs. E shrugged and let me in. I looked at my watch and saw it said 8.00am and then I looked up at the clock in Mrs E’s hallway and saw it said 7.00am. I suddenly remembered that the day before, Mum explained something called daylight saving to me. And that daylight saving meant we needed to wind our watches and the clocks in the house forward.

My little six-year-old brain went into overdrive. Panic set in.  My little refugee brain reasoned that if we wound our clocks forward but Mrs. E’s family didn’t, daylight saving must be a Persian thing.

Once I had figured out that daylight saving was another one of these weird Persian things that I had to participate in, the panic subsided and I started to feel angry. I was really angry at my mother. How could she do this to me, I thought to myself. Letting me go to Mrs. E’s house an entire hour early and not telling me that daylight saving was just for Persians.

I sat there all morning stewing and because I was an hour early – it was a good one and a half hours of stewing. It was so typical of my mum, I thought to myself. Making me do things that none of the other Aussie kids had to do and acting like it wasn’t different or weird. Winding clocks forward, so weird. Who does that?

I remember being in a foul mood and not even Mrs. E’s offer of a nutella sandwich put me right.

Finally, at 8.30am  (and 9.30 am on my wrist watch)Mrs. E bustled us out of the house  and we headed off to school. As she dropped us of at the gate, she remarked how strange it was that there were no kids in the playground and told Ellie and I to walk quickly to our classroom.

As we walked through the school gate I remember feeling so burdened by my ethnicity and wished that I could be like Ellie who didn’t have to deal with stupid things like daylight saving.

I lingered outside the classroom, taking a little bit longer than usual to hang my bag on my hook. Ellie skipped into our classroom without a care in the world. Through the door, I saw that everyone was seated at their desks. Our teacher looked up at Ellie and said, “Ellie dear, did your Mum forget about daylight savings?”

Of course, changing time couldn’t just be a Persian thing. I went into class and sheepishly sat down at my desk.

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