Happy Sunday! Sofia from Photographias is leading this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and the topic of “Looking Back” was chosen.
I had a hard time deciding how to approach this topic but ultimately I decided to write about my 2017 visit to my hometown.
When I visited my hometown in 2017, I didn’t know what to expect. Yes, I expected changes. After all, I’ve been away since 2001. At the same time, I was expecting familiarity. I was expecting to be brought back to my childhood days by familiar surroundings, to help me to not feel like a native visiting a foreign country.
This is the street where my grandpa lives and it’s located in one of the oldest parts of the city.
He used to live in an upstairs apartment between the store with the striped awning and the store with the yellow banner. Now, he lives in the apartment across the road. It’s easier for him since he no longer needs to climb the stairs.
I used to visit the store with the striped awning almost every day for school supplies – notebooks, pencil lead, and ink for pen. Though not inexpensive, it was much cheaper than buying supplies from the store on the school campus.
During my 4-month stint in my hometown, I roamed the streets almost everyday, trying to familiarize myself with the place I spent my first decade. With an old smart phone with the GPS app opened, I spent my days roaming the back alleys where it was my playground as a young girl.
This is the alley leading to a main road and though the houses look dilapidated from age, I think it gives them character.
Finally, looking back, this was what got me interested in gardening. This was my grandmother’s hometown. When I visited as a young girl, this was all farmland. Those buildings in the background didn’t exist. There were rows and rows of lettuce and leafy greens. It was like the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen and I started dreaming of a garden.
Though my current garden looks nothing like this, I did fulfill my dream of growing lettuces just as I saw in these fields all those years before.