Kaladet: A Short Story
I wake up to the sound of kaladet* from the monastery nearby. I break wind noisily, stretch lazily and get out of bed. It is 5 am already. Now, I’m late. I should have woken up when the cocks crow. I start a fire with the twigs my mother has collected. I put peas in an earthen pot, add water and put the pot on the fire. Then, I wash my face and, brush my teeth with salt and do my homework. My mother get up and keep an eye on the pot. When the peas are ready she put them in a basket, tell me that the peas are ready but are a bit undercooked and blame me for getting up late.
I change my clothes and walk out, carrying the basket on my head. I plod along the badly rutted dirt road for a while, turn right and sashay along a tar road shouting pebyoke (boil peas). An old lady call me and buy some pebyoke. I walk along, wiggling my hips as I pass by a teashop where boys my age are having tea and chatting noisily. An old geezer call out: “pebyaw” (soggy peas). I tell him that my peas are not soggy today, but I refrain from telling him that they are undercooked. After walking around several roads and selling most of my peas, I return.
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His voice drones on, but I cannot concentrate. My stomach rumbles every now and then, making my friends chuckles. My embarrassment has become an entertainment to my friends. Time drags by when one is in an embarrassing situation and when one is suppressing a fart. A storm is brewing in my stomach. I may explode any time. I ask permission to go to the toilet. If I am a primary student it will be very difficult because I may need to say whether I am doing number one or number two. This is neither of them. I just want to fart. I do not know what number is assigned for this, probably 0 or .5. Of cause the teacher does not ask as I am a high school student. I go to the toilet and fart there. I come back to the classroom and wait till the school finishes. When the school ends at 3:30 I go