A Waterstones Debut
When Emma told me that we were going to do a storytelling and drawing session at Waterstones in Birmingham, I swear I gave the biggest grin of my life. There are some bookstores in the world that I had special relationship with, and Waterstones is one of them.
I buckled up and had all my gears – both physical and mental ones – as I head out to Marylebone to catch my train to Birmingham. It was actually going to be a quick stop in Birmingham. My session was at 1 pm, and I had to catch the 4 pm train to Glasgow for the weekend sessions up north.
Emma and I had lunch before we head out to Waterstones, as she brief me about the busier leg of the tour that we’re about to have. I told her about the London session – at Moon Lane’s Ink and Tales on Moon Lane – about how more comfortable I felt albeit still getting a tingle of nervous before we have to start a new session again, about how children are the best – because they give the best responses! – and the worst – because you can never tell the honest comments that they would share.
She laughed, of course, assuring me it would be great. That if I had survived the first two, I would survive the rest of the tour.
We climbed the stairs to get to the children section at Birmingham’s Waterstones in the busy High Street, met the staff who led us to the prepared storytelling area, and was introduced to a boy who had been waiting for us with her parents. They weren’t initially planning to come, but the staffs had told him that a story session was about to happen, and he wanted to stay. This sort of encounter had been one of my favourite thing of the trip: meeting people who were excited to hear my story even though it was their first time hearing about it.
I can’t stop saying how amazing it felt to always get new responds even though I have been telling the same stories. It reminded me of how rich a specific situation can be, if only we’re willing to not limit ourselves to our own references and interpretation.
I had the funnest time talking to the boy who first arrive about the difference of rain in Indonesia and UK. We talked about where I was from because he knew where Asia is. He suggested that I forgot the worms that would also show up when it’s raining. A little girl – who came with a group of siblings/ cousins, joined me in the storytelling session, making sure she got her rain experiences into the narrative to. I thought she would have been a great story teller.
The drawings that came from the workshop session was completely different from what I have seen before. This time, we got some direct recreation from the book, with additional details of favourite umbrellas and the necessary worms.
Worms, and the snail that I forgot to put. I’m so blessed to be reminded the details that I’ve missed — while they are still in their state of amazing-ness.
In the two weeks of last May-June, Rassi Narika conducted a UK book tour for her newly translated “When It Rains”. She compiles stories from her trip: the stops, the people, the interactions. #WhenItRainsUKTour is brought to you by The Emma Press with supports from the Fringe Programme from the National Organizing Committee for Indonesia, as Market Focus Country of London Book Fair 2019@komitebukuid.