One of my fondest memories is discovering Tintin for the first time in a very dark corner of an empty high school library in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.
It wasn’t my school—I was seven or eight at the time. The library was empty because it was a Sunday, and it was dark because the school’s generator had broken down. I was there because my father was fixing that generator.
He often took me with him when he attended jobs in interesting places; I don’t know if it’s because he wanted my company, or because he wanted me to see interesting places. Maybe it was both. Or maybe it’s because I was pretty low maintenance for a kid: give me a corner full of books, and I’d be happy for hours.
As I traipsed about an Egyptian tomb with Tintin and Snowy, delving ever deeper into their wonderful cloak and dagger world in that hushed, darkened corner of the library, my father was somewhere on campus, up to his elbows in engine ichor.
For some reason, that thought has always made me smile.