One afternoon, thirteen years ago, my sister bought me my first bottled water. I requested her to buy me one for two reasons. First, I would like to find out how water that is bottled would actually taste compared to our version of it at home. Her school has also sold it in their cafeteria earlier than in where I was studying at that time. My sister was then first year in highschool while I was still in grade six.
However, I did not experience ripping off its plastic sealing because she already drank half of its contents when she got home that afternoon. I drank the remaining contents anyway, and in a manner that is similar perhaps to eating your first blueberry cheesecake: as slowly as possible so as not to miss any new sensation or distinct aftertaste. I still remember that it tasted something like diluted coconut water. Her saliva could have contributed as well, but its effect to the original flavour is very minimal, if not entirely negligible.
It was not only the taste that I could recall up to now. I also remember that that experience cost my sister a significant portion of her daily allowance. Bottled water in 1996 is quite pricey probably because it was not yet declared a basic necessity by the school cafeteria management. Today, it is as ubiquitous as your Facebook profile and as disposable as most, if not all of your online friends.
This blog entry is then dedicated to that memory. I find it imperative to thank my sister for that and for every sacrifice she made at my expense: an overhyped coffeeshop’s planner, the mobile phone that I lost in a taxi some years ago and the two pairs of shoes which I am still using to this day. She could have bought something for herself every time, but somehow she saw it as an inescapable responsibility to look after a brother that may be numerically smarter but who is also a social moron in more occasions than one.
Sometimes I wish I had a pet elephant in her place. But perhaps God deemed it better that I have a female sibling to talk to. We may lack the experience of the finer things in life when we were still kids, but looking back, I realized that our growing up years have taught us what it is to be in need and what it is to have plenty. All those experiences have made us appreciate what life has to offer for now and have made us strive harder for everything else later on.
If my sister is reading this paragraph now, please accept my long overdue gratitude for bringing me home that bottled water. That experience, no matter how ridiculous it may sound now, has rightfully earned itself an indelible space in my heart.