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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

The Kid with the Pumpkin Cookies 金瓜弟弟

This is one of my most unforgettable faces I have come across in my travels.

December 2015, as I was walking along the streets of Old Havana, a young child opened the little window on his main door to smile and wave at me.

I easily remembered the old blue door easily because all the doors on that street were either brown or green.

The child is probably 3-4 years old, didn't speak any English, and he would wave to me each time I pass by his house. He has an older brother, equally photogenic and friendly.

A pity I didn't get their names or write down their address. I nicknamed him Pumpkin because he always seem to be eating what appears to be like pumpkin cookies each time I see him.

February 2018, on my return trip to Havana, I did fine art prints for the child and his brother, hoping to find them again. I always thought local Cubans seldom move houses and it would be an easy task, just locate the same old blue door. Alas, all the doors on the houses on that street have been changed. My fellow photographer guide Figueredo who could speak Spanish fluently tried showing the pictures to locals residing in the street, but nobody seem to be able to recognise the child. One lady said it probably would not make any difference because Pumpkin would not remember much of the encounters from when he was 3 years old...True, kids can remember events before the age of 3 when they're small, but by the time they're a bit older, those early autobiographical memories are lost. ... When brains are busy growing lots of new cells, they don't store memories that would otherwise be long-term.

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