Day 66: Around the World

Around the World
by
Matt Zurbo

 

It was Frank’s first day at his new school.
(Kid with chest out, school hat, shorts, socks, backpack… and a flannel shirt.)

“Where are you from?” Miss Woods asked.
“I’m a country boy!” Frank said.
(looking nervously around at multi-cultural kids, including Indigenous)

“Okay, class, where did your families come from?” Miss Woods asked.
(Frank, startled, as kids around him of all nationalities put their hands up, happy, as if they are going to explode.)
Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East!
“Geez, this is kinda exciting!” thought Frank.
Some kids ever even BORN overseas. Italy! Greece! Korea!

“I’ve only ever been to the local pool!” Frank said, in awe.
(Bell ringing, all kids racing out except Asian girl Li Wu)

The next Saturday there was a knock on Frank’s door. “Come on, then,” Li Wu told him. “I’m going to take you around the world in a day!”
(Li Wu, big grin, standing at Frank’s door.)

“Wha!? Around the world…!?” Frank sputtered.
“Trust me,” said Li.
(Two of them walking down the street.)

“First stop, Japanese dumplings at my place!”
(Inside traditional Japanese house, shoes off, tables close to floor, etc…Frank, startled expression as he uses chop sticks.)

“Next, Mil’s house!” Li announced. “He lives next door…” she whispered.
“It looks like all your relatives are visiting,” Frank said.
“I’m Lebanese! They do this every day!” Mil smiled.
The place was crazy fun!
(Everyone on porch, old turntable playing, people eating, playing cards, kids running around.)

At Gianpiero’s Frank was given pasta.
“Eat! Eat!” said Louie’s Mum.
(Li, Frank, Louie and family, sitting in kitchen, woven baskets, fresh tomatoes growing outside beaded door, chook on table, Italian flag and postcards over wall, dad with guitar)
Frank listened to Italian music, and even danced.

“Woh! I’m SO full,” Frank moaned.
“Better make more room, then, we’re going to Lotsi’s place next! Traditionally, Hungarians were poor, but ate like Kings!”
(Hungarians around the table, scarves over women’s heads. Chaos of everybody eating, including hand-eaten upside down cake. Lots of photos of horses and horse culture on the walls)
“It’s true,” Lotsi said. “So many nations have invaded us over the centuries, but each one left their own style of food.”

“Ohhhh…” Frank moaned. “I’m going to pop!”
(Frank holding bloated belly, him and Li walking along street.)

“Hey, it’s the Sudanese kids!” smiled Li!
(All of them, plus Frank and Li playing street soccer. Frank is tripping over his own feet, while others laugh.)

There was a Greek wedding going on at Johnny Fellagravolpoulou’s place! Frank had never seen anything like it!

“Shh. It’s for Wahtjar’s coming of age ceremony,” whispered Li.
“This is an Australia I’ve never seen before…” Frank whispered, in awe!
(Frank sitting with Aboriginal kids watching an elder do dot paintings, while kids paint themselves in traditional dance colours)

Each house was like a small country…
(Maori hongi)

Full of strange customs, amazing languages, food smells,
(Latin Americans having a party, dancing, playing quartos)

History of their old countries… and how they got here.
How they learnt to fit in.

There was so much to learn!
(Palestinians sitting on humble creates, Father, hands and face animated, telling fascinated Li and Frank stories)

(Russians)

(Tongans)

“Phew,” Frank huffed, full, farting, exhausted!
“Haha, ew! Good-bye, ” said Li.
(Li hugging Frank, who is holding belly, tongue out in self-disgust. Both farting.

“We’re have you been all day?” Dad asked.
“Around the world!” Frank signed.
“Well, I’ve put some snags on the barbie and the cricket’s on the radio. Come have some tucker, son,” Dad said.

Snags? Frank was so full he didn’t know what to do!
“Wait up! Can I bring a friend or two?” Frank asked.
“Sure, of course!”
(Dad, peering around doorway, bbq apron on.)

Full on!
(Double page spread of Dad, looking startled, tongs and snag in hand by barbie, while surrounded by laughing, snag eating, cricket playing, patty cake playing, hopscotch playing, footy kicking kids from all nationalities.)

 

The End

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