Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grandmother story - The Epic


According to ahpa, my paternal grandma was somewhat a scholar. She wrote beautiful Chinese words. She used the abacus (yeah, she knew her arithmetics. I dunno what happened to my gene. Mutated, I guess) She named all her grandchildren.

Our names are her works of art. In each family, there would be a distinct character. For instance, my siblings and I have the ‘tian’ (sky) character as our middle name. Mine in particular means ‘beautiful sky’. (Gag all you want lah).When combined with my sister’s, a whole new meaning would emerge. It’s “Bizarre” but in a nice, special way. Unique is probably a better choice of word. Apparently, if I were a boy, I would have been named Tian Wai, because when combined with my other brothers’ names, a grandiose meaning would surface.

I vaguely remember about ahpa’s nickname. Being the 8th child, he was christened as ‘8-dad’. In Chinese, it would have been written as ‘Baghdad’ with a good meaning (those who knows Chinese, please help me with this). Each child has a significant number as part of their names. Ingenious!

After her husband’s demise, my ahma was quite matriarchal. I was 5 when she passed on. So I do have glimpses of memories of her.

Always grouchy. Always grumpy.

Aiyoyoyo… no fun indeed.

She was a couch potato, always watching those TVB series on video tapes. Mong Chung Yan (Man in the Net), Siong Hoi Than (The Bund), and lain lain. Every night, the TV blared. Sometimes she appeared to be sleeping but nobody dared to turn the idiot box off.

My ahbu claimed that she was assigned to accompany ahma to watch those series. Even though tired, the shows must go on. That is probably why she doesn’t watch TV now. Phobia…

This particular scene stood out in my memory:

I was probably about 4 years old. Ahma was as usual, sitting on those colourful recline-able ‘beach’ chair. You know, those kind with plastic ‘strings’ wound around the metal frame ? And you could strum those strings like you are strumming a guitar? I did that a lot. Anyways, my ahma was watching tv, and I was lying down on my ahbu’s lap who was seated on the floor.

Suddenly my ahma hollered, “ So big girl, still lay on your ahbu’s lap. Shame on you!”

With that, my ahbu ushered me up and I left, feeling hurt and forcibly grown up.

Clearly, my ahma was not an affectionate person.

On the day she died, I had just pierced my ears the day before. I was in my kindergarten uniform, awaiting the ride to school, when the phone rang with the message that “ahma is gone”. I was pleased I didn’t have to go to school but I was upset that I had to remove my new ear rings before I could show them off to my friends.

Of her demise, I was apathetic.

That’s the story of my ahma who have lived (70 years?) but left no legacy for the next generation. Oh I forgot.. she left some names for us. Heheh!


Now, my waipoh or in Hokkien ‘warmar’ (maternal grandma) was the opposite of ahma. She was very subdued in manner.

Even in her sixties, she looked ..old... ancient even. If she were alive, she would make a good exhibit in museum. Look, it’s hard to find ‘porpor’ who dressed like her these days. Her white hair was always coiled in a bun. She wore those ‘majai’ baju, with soft baggy black pants. Never worn a bra in her entire life! And those cute Chinese slippers? Beaded and embroided type? Her pair could last for years! She wore a jade bangle and a golden one, which made the ‘clang clang’ sound whenever she was around.

(Real faces have been changed in order to protect the identity of the deceased)

She stayed with my uncle, but occasionally came to stay with us. My sister would wash her hair, which hung to her waist. I was always too busy playing. Frankly, I was not close to her as well.

She was very particular about ‘electric bills’; turning off the spinning fans and fluorescent lights whenever the opportunity arose ie. the moment you walk into the toilet, the room light and fan automatically get turned off.

She woke at 5 am, if not earlier. And I get chided when I was still asleep at 7am. (The sun is shining at your buttock!)

Other than that, she was just very quiet. We have often wondered if she thought of anything.. anything at all (besides electric bills and How to be a Good Daughter in Law 101) And if she did, why didn’t she voice them? Was she opinionated? This is quite a puzzle because she remained cowed till the last days of her lives. Even my ahbu had a hard time talking to her.

Having said that, my 3rd brother was the only person capable of making her laugh.He is quite good in imitating and conversing in her accented Hokkien twang.

‘Siang dai?’ which means what’s up? (Modern Hokkiens would say, ‘Hamit su?’)

‘Umber’ (not Amber Chia, ok?), which is porridge.

I don’t remember many of the words, for obvious reason. I was never chatty with her.

In the end, she passed away, with my 3rd brother (alive!) next to her - the one whom she loved most.

At least someone loved her dearly.

What would I have called my maternal grandfather? Oh yes, ‘wargong’. Nothing much was spoken about him. I don’t think I have seen a picture of him.

According to ahbu, he used to have a coffee shop. He was short and plump. That’s it.

That era was indeed pitiful. Silence is golden, perhaps. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Ended up, I know nothing about him. Pity ... pity..


Medical History (Revealing the odds and ends)

Now, Gooly.. if you must know, my ahpa met my ahbu at a wedding dinner. My ‘wargong’ and ‘ahma’ were siblings, which means your grandparents were cousins. That is why your mahmee is short and overly smart (needs scientific verifications).

While we are the topic of mutated genes and family medical history, you should know:
a. my 2nd aunt suffered an aneurysm, had her brain sliced and was never the same ever since.

b. my 2nd uncle died of high-blood pressure due to high consumptions of durians (post mortem by non-PHD family members

c. another auntie (not blood related) had some serious mental erm.. ‘problems’

(c)’s story is pretty interesting…spooky but nonetheless can be made into a blockbuster movie. Get ready your blankie..

It all started when one day, my uncle realized that his van had gone missing. This was during the era when burglars, snatch thieves and robbers were not considered as ‘occupations’. Hence, he asked if his wife had seen it.

It was reported that she had replied nonchalantly that the van was ‘thrown’ away at a rubbish dump for it contained ‘dirty you-know-what’. Ahem.. bulu roma naik.

Thereinafter, she behaved weirdly.. snarling, with curled lips and fingers. At one time, she claimed that she was Kuan Yin reincarnated, asking my uncle to drink her spit. When cousins visited their house, stories were told at the kopitiam, each time the versions got wilder and scarier.

She was said to be so strong; she could knock down an iron gate with a swift ‘moyingkiok’ no-shadow kick.

She was said to walk on air (wearing Nike Air kot? )

And then it got weirder, which involved a kidnap (her kids were taken away for fear of their safety). At that point, we wondered if a divorce was imminent. Alas, that didn’t happen. The kids were returned. The husband still shares the same bed. As of now, the children are all grown up, some in universities, some joined the working force.

Does anyone want to be reminded of the sad past? I don’t think so.

What really happened? Did I witness a supernatural phenomenon or was it a case of a frustrated, sexually deprived housewife wanting to scare the shit out of her husband? I guess we will never know.

(Does she look like gargies cuckoo to you?)


Broken branches

Gooly, your ahgong have 9 siblings.

6 have passed on.

One is not in talking terms with him.

One is indifferent.

Another is half-a brain (post aneurysm).

Their children we meet every few years. Some we have forgotten how they look. Some we pretended we are not related when met on the streets.

The family-tree branches have snapped and are broken. Some due to force, some due to circumstances.

It’s not something to be proud of, and yet it can neither be reverted nor rectified.

Now we have our own family tree, growing its own branches and buds. Take care of your siblings (if any), love your cousins, treasure your aunties and uncles.

The past we cannot change. The future, let’s make it better, shall we?

Now, let me test your knowledge on history... Fill up the blanks!

Grandfather story - The Prequel

During Gongxi Gongxi, whilst in Gooly’s chor chor’s (great grandma) house, I spied with my eye a couple at the corner. Born curious, I had to ask who they were.

Papah: Dunnoh! My mom’s cousin kwa..

Sensing that his ancestry knowledge isn’t exactly vast, I asked my Mom- is- the- law. To my astonishment, that man is actually my MIL’s brother who was given away while still a baby. I am appalled that papah doesn’t know his family tree.

Hence, this and the next post will be on MY ancestors and relatives whom some have passed on, and many, not in talking terms with us. Gooly, know your roots! Don’t be like your father

Disclaimer: The earlier era stories were told by my father many years ago. I hope I remember them clearly. The later ones were also extracted from memories. I hope they aren’t biased.

Let’s start with my father’s side. (Hold it..heheh..this is really grandfather’s story..) My ancestors hail from Namua, a small village in Fujian province. My grandparents had 10 children; 3 of them dead when little. My father is the 8th child, the 3rd son, hence the nickname, Lausa/Lousum (Old Three). He also has another nickname, “Lompang” which is the cina-fied version of the Malay word “tumpang.’ My ahma didn’t have enough breast milk to feed, and being too poor to buy milk, my father had to ‘tumpang’ milk from his auntie’s bosoms.

I reckon my father didn’t have a happy childhood. My grandfather was an accountant, a chauvinist, a kiamsiap man, a selfish man.. I haven’t met him before. He died a few years before I was born (luckily!) From photographs, he always wore clean white shirts and iron-ed pants. I can see that he was dogmatic and authoritative.

My ahbu confirmed it! It seems that ahgong never wore his own shirts. Just like the emperors from Tang Dynasty and Ming, Qing and whatnots, his wife, daughters and slaughter in laws had to help him with the buttons while he stretched out his arms (macam crucified). Don’t ask me about the pants..Eewww! And his toenails were cut by others too.

He liked to holler too. When angered, which was often, he yelled “GO DIE!” to his children. Tsk tsk tsk..

When the children didn’t die, he got angrier and would whip them. He didn’t care if they were 12, 23, or 34. Apparently, my eldest uncle got the worst bouts of whipping. Even at his thirties, he was asked to kneel while being reprimanded.

Evidently, he didn’t care much for his children. To my father, a sip of milo from his father’s cup was a fancy and desirable wish. Asking for school fees and pocket money for food were the things he fretted. He soon quitted school because he got tired of ‘begging’. Who wouldn’t?

I remember vaguely, a photo of ah gong in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at our old house. Much later, I was told that he had paid quite a sum to a Malay folk for some ‘title’. It wasn’t Datuk, Tan Sri or Dato’. He was conned. What a sucker!

If I am not mistaken, my father along with his siblings moved about quite frequently due to ahgong’s unsuccessful business ventures, starting from Penang, Melaka, and then finally Petaling Jaya. They ran a provision shop and some other ‘lauyar’ business. But before that, he was an accountant.

When the Japanese army invaded Tanah Melayu, others avoided and fear them but not my Ahgong..No…No… he actually helped them with their account works. Traitor!

(Aiyo..Ah Gong, please don’t come find me tonight. I know I used many undesirable adjectives. *clasp hands*)

It was during that time that something peculiar and eerie happened. My father can still remember the ‘incident’ till this day, after 60 years…

It was said that they were all living in a Malay kampong in the early fifties. My 2nd uncle had for no apparent reason, pangsai-ed in one of the villagers’ pondok. Hmm.. I am not sure what they are called, but you know how the kampong houses are built on stilts? And under the house, there are chicken coops, and some believe, buried bones of the dead?

And so, when the villagers found out about the excrement, they were very disturbed and wanted to punish my uncle. The punishment must have been severe, for the family had to flee in the middle of the night to avoid it. Kancheong kancheong..

It seems a bomoh lent a helping hand. He told my grandma, “Your family will be dead if you fled like this. Let me help you. Stay with me for the night. But do not come out from your room, no matter what you hear, ada faham tak?” (Eh, Kisah Benar like that...)

The whole night, the bomoh chanted ayat ayat from scriptures. My father of course peeped through the door. He was getting bored when suddenly the bomoh brandished a long sword and poked it between the wood panels. It remained erected while he poured scoops of rice around it. With his own eyes, my father saw the rice disappeared one by one. Vanished into thin air. Gone with the wind. Ilek pochi! So David Copperfield, kan?

My father peed in his pants. When dawn broke, Encik David ushered my grandmother and her children into the horse (or was it cow? or was it kambing?) cart. Upon exiting the kampong, true enough, there were villagers waiting. They must have decided to build a security guard house to prevent the culprits from leaving the kampong.

The cart came to a halt. The children were scared. Pikpok pikpok, the hearts beat in unison, with the same rhythm. My father peed in his pants ( I know I would have!) They didn’t dare to move an inch, as if staying still would make them invisible. The villagers looked at them. But … lo and behold, could not see them. Yes, they were invisible indeed!

The cart throttled on. And thus another chapter of their lives began, in another village far, far away…

How? Can be made into a Holly-Bolly-Molly wood movie not? I am thinking, THE BOY WHO SHAT as the title..

Part two later.. Stay tuned.

The Journey North

I don't remember if I have driven long distance.. Hmm.. I suppose that means I am lucky to be chauffeur-driven all this while (also means that taxis are abundant in Bangkok).

When I announced that I will be making a 5 hour trip up north, with Gooly, the reactions were somewhat the same; awed and pity.

"Woah.. the Jelapang there very tricky..bengkang bengkok.."

"Gooly can sit still meh?"

"Can or not oh you?"

I admit I was 99% sure I can do it, and 1%, can I do it?

So yesterday, I started the engine, and ejected THE BEST 95 CHILDREN SONGS cd from the player. Within PJ vicinity, I could still stand YANKEE DOODLE CAME TO TOWN repeatedly. 5 hours of the same songs, can die, you know?

Titt tiit tiit..88.9 FM came on air.. There isn't one local DJ I fancy,you know. They talk too much about insignificant issues. They laugh at their own jokes. They play childish pranks. And so I was visibly pleased that 88.9's DJ went on a pangsai/lunch break cos there were only songs, no banal banters. The selection of songs were good, nothing too POP:

a. Isabella, rap version
b. Viva la vida
c. Baa baa black sheep..HOI! That bugger sneakily touched the dial
d. TIT, back to radio.. Weeehu..weeehu (Gwen's)

We left at about 11.30am. Using my mental arithmetics, I reckoned that Gooly will be bugging for food at approximately 1.32pm and we would be somewhere in ulu SUNGKAI then. So I decided to tarpao Mc D, much to his delight. Kopi for me, puhleeeze....

Chun chun at SUNGKAI WANG, he said, I'm hungry. And so I did a 180 degree F-1 swerve to the tandas awam stop. Kreeech... Opened up the oily paper package, and got a whiff of the aromatic hash browns. Mmm... jom makan.

And I sempat to go online. Ya man, tandas stop also main Wi-Fi. Replied a couple of comments, read one chisin post, and suddenly.. "Mahmee, I want to pangsai.." Cilaka..potong stim.

After carefully choosing the nicest cubicle, and some 'eeeengh..eeeengh...' action (eat more vege, son), we went back into the car. To my dismay, my Wi-fi connection went poof! Vanished! Together with my 88.9FM! *start Ding Dong Bell, Pussy in the well* Sigh..

*start engine again*

Anyways, even without the radio on, the drive was pleasing enough..rather scenic.

Salem High Country tak? Of course this pic wasn't taken by me. :P I drive with both hands, wokeh! (Alaska mia picture actually) But I swear somewhere around Lembah Beringin, the view was like that. I could almost hear:

I see skies are blue..
Red roses too..
I see them bloom for you and me..
What a wonderful world..

It's strange how I never noticed such greenvilles before. Oh.. cos I was always sleeping in the car. Heheh..

We passed by Bukit Merah Resort, Genting, Tasik Pedu, Gua Sampo, Batu Feringghi, Taiping Zoo.Ipoh..(Helloh, Claire!). I was tempted to cuticuti a bit. You know.. a road trip with Gooly.. in a convertible.. me with big scarf on my head.. big sunnies.. Gooly chewing gum... HOI! Wake up lah! Balik kampung ah.. cuti what la..

Gooly was good..must give credit when due. He didn't sleep as instructed or hypnotised. 'Go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep' didnt work. "Are we there yet?" per hour was bearable. Grunting rock songs and screeching ballads were also tolerable. The fearful "I really want to wee wee and pangsai" in the middle of no where didn't happen.

and then..


Not too bad. Shall we do it again, Gooly? Sure.. let's stop at SUNGKAI WANG next time. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Award nite

..I got down from my long black sleek looking limo. Flashes of lights almost blinded me. I felt uncomfortable in my decollete dress. But the show must go on..

Moments later, they announced my name.. Twice! The previous achievers and reigning queens , Reanaclaire and Raynebows handed me the award.. reluctantly . Here it is.. tadaaa... (they muttered something about sharing it with Gargies, but itu tak penting :P)

Swell.. I unfolded my 'thank you' list, taken out from my bosom and proceeded to kamsia Him, her, him and of course you. *dab dab tears*

I then told a long winded story about how I stopped working, and started enjoying a tai tai life. I now don't sweat about traffic jams and crazy bosses. Thanks to Gooly, my life began at 30. Most people have to wait till they are at least 55. *sniffles*

Initially I wanted to include a short video presentation on the topic of 'growing up' in which an interview was carried out with Gooly. But it kinda got censored cos he mentioned something about penis and hair. I can show it upon request though. :)

What an honour to receive this award from THE GREAT MOMS. As I got off the stage, the organiser mentioned that I should pass the award on too. And the nominees winners are, in random order:

sawisekilo, whose patience and arm-strenght (for carrying her baby for many hours) amaze me.

iloveedamame, who is not yet a mom, but cares for other children like her own.

sinkar & winn, who are great dog/cat parents (liucas is one lucky SOB k-9 and teru is err.. one jumpy meow.)

Eagle Wings, who homeschools and remains sane :P

beskotkeras, who feels guilty just because she thought of herself a bit

Gargies, whose bosoms are bigger than mine (hahahhaha!)..Ok, seriously..because she knows her flaws as a mom and admits them.

CY, who is a male.. so please pass to your wife who cooks and brings lunch to school!

Claire, who is solo, but never alone in parenting (for HE is with you, dear.)

Raynebows, who raises her son like a pal.

Madegg, who mothers and pampers Gooly when I can't (due to time constraint) and won't (due to hormonal issues).

Gooly's kaima who runs faster than Forrest Gump :)

MY AHBU, for all the sacrifices.. all the love.. all the pain..

I LOVE YOU ALL! *pbbbbthhhh.. blow nose*

Can I sing one song?

Ji sang ji you MAMA hau...

(Syiok sendiri nyer...)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I also want to line up..

I usually don't read THE STAR, STRAIT TIMES, THE SUN, THE MOON, SIN CHEW, TAMIL NESAN, etc. because I am too kiamsiap to buy them.

But I love reading when I pangsai ... have an affair with the si harng WC. Thus, I grab whatever reading materials available; CARREFOUR catalogue, IKEA catalogue and fantasise what I could buy. Sometimes I devour Reader's Digest but that also means that I stay indoor longer that I should. On rare occasions, I get old newspapers.

So this piece of news is out-dated, circa January 2008. But reading it makes my affair in the WC more pleasurable, if it's even possible. ;)

Ceritanyer macam nie.. There is a company in Big Apple forking out a few million dollahs to promote its product/website. Instead of placing advertisements on TV, they use the money to hand out to people who need the cash more.

They set up a booth smack right in the middle of the metropolitan with a sign, TELL US WHY YOU NEED SOME CASH (something like this. I cannot remember lah!) and of course their product/webpage/company name/logo. A bouncer (I suspect a Bengali) will listen to your sad story and relate it to the person inside the booth. Inside the booth, sits the charfityan, the god father who will decide if you get the 'dough', and how much.

"My mom is sick.." laments a man.

"USD150 for this man whose mom is sick!" hollers the bengali bouncer, after consulting the godfather.*

(*This is a friction of my imagination. It may and may not happened.)

As easy as that! Only can happen in Big Apple, right? I don't think the people will actually tipu to get in line. Berdosa tau.. ? (GG, Sinkar..don't attempt to line up)

But while on the 'throne', I also made up of list of 'why I need some money':
a. I got cheated at the immigration (shhhhh..................... don't mention it everrrr again!)
b. I need facials badly
c. Gooly needs to go school soon
d. I haven't been playing sure win mahjung

And then together with other chocolatey remnants, I flush down the list. Gooooosh!

Dream lah!!!!! Here also not New Yorrrrk! (MadEgg, you in Boston, nearer.. go try your luck! Don't use my ideas though.. :P)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


While galivanting with iloveedamame the other day, Gooly went out with the others and was reprimanded for being selfish. Woah.. a tad too heavy 'title' for a tired and cranky boy who missed his mahmee and wanted things slightly his way.

Nonetheless I thought it was a good chance to impart some moral values, particularly on being selfish and non. It would be a projek besar besaran in which I divided the lessons into several parts. real. Actually it was more like telling bed time stories for days about 'the boy who was selfish..."

Do you realise there are so many aspects of 'selfish' to cover? Generosity, charity, sharing, thinking of others first (but don't be a sucker), etc.

And so I began..

Once upon a time, there was a boy who sell fish.. (screwed up his mind a bit. Played around with homonyms and also closed one eye about the grammar mistake).
*This he laughed..

And there was a boy who had money but instead of buying Transformers for himself, he bought some medicine for his ahmah who was sick.
*This he thought acceptable...

And then there was another time about a boy who donated his money for the poor.
*This he thought do-able.

And another time there was a flood...
*This he asked to buy a diver suit, so he could dive in, and pass the money to the victims.

What the rooty toot toot? He was enacting a scene from "Little Mermaid" ka? Aiyoyoyo..

It's so difficult to explain about 'how things work' in the real world, kan? No doubt the donation box is less exciting. And diving into the water with a gunny sack of cash seems so much more heroic, eh?

While my brain cells were about to 'divide and combust' thinking about BEING UNSELFISH, he has to complicate things by asking the practical parts, i.e how come can get flooded? So we swayed from moral lessons to science, an area which I am not very good at.

Last time when I was in school, I had no qualms about 'the moral of the story'.. We all applauded when Ah Seng (not you, Sinkar, okeh?) rescued the cat from the tree. We didn't wonder how on earth the cat got stuck there, did we? Or if the cat wanted to be rescued, maybe he just liked being up there.

I need to go lay down awhile.. My head is throbbing... Susah leh...

Sunday, February 15, 2009


My ah bu likes to keep the house void.




Weirdly, she is a hoarder too. Nothing gets thrown out.

She stashes stuff into store rooms, boxes, under the beds, high up in the cupboards, at the backyard, under the tanks, etc. You asked if she has seen what or what, she will say, "Probably yes, but dunno where.." Sei moe?

Meanwhile, the kids like leaving new loots on the table, on the chair, on the floor etc. In other words, everywhere visible and reachable.

Miraculously, the newly bought items will go missing the very next day. The only person who keeps and hence, knows but forgets will be her.

"Where is my shampoo, ah bu?"

"Aiyah..somewhere in the house la. Can find one la.. I never throw anything one.."


After some huffing and puffing and more tsk-ing, I found my Pantene-Results-in-14 days bottle in the dining room, in the cabinet, under the microwave oven, behind the toaster, in a shoe box...

Doh! Washing hair can be so difficult.. if you stay with ah bu

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kungfu Hustle

Do you know..

..that my father was a kungfu master?

Don't pray pray.

We used to stay in a bungalow with a big compund. But I think if revisited, it wouldn't seem so big. There was a sign, with some chinese words and a tiger leaping forward hung on the wall. I reckon it said something like "SHAOLIN SCHOOL OF ARTS".

Haha.. achah je. I must remember to ask my master shifu later the name of the illegal set-up.

Anyways, I remember once a week, fellow comrades will gather at the compound to learn kung fu. Hiak! Huak! Hick! Very macho, indeed. Being the youngest, I was always prompted to learn along. And so cutie-pie me with sweaty head will 'chak ma' (the horse stance) and huak hiak hick together. Like real..

After sweating it out, the hustlers usually lepak a while and being responsible to the society, the shifu always delivered speeches about learning kungfu as a form of self-defence, and not to pick fights. When attacked, RUN and lapor polis. Hee hee..what crap.

When Micheal Hui's comedy became more popular compared to Bruce Lee's brutal ones, the student intake for our club also plunged. Soon the establishment was dissolved.

But I will fondly remember the way the uncle bus hollered, "KUNGFU KIDS" just before reaching our house, and the four of us will trot forward.

I will also remember how my shifu taught me THE FORK move. It's quite hard but I mastered it. When attacked, use the index and middle fingers to form a fork and poke the bugger's eyes.

Do you think there is a highly sacred scroll hidden in the house some where? Cos frankly, I don't think THE FORK is very canggih..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chicken and Duck talk

"Hui kong mat yeh?" (What did he say?), my ah bu asks all the time. I will translate the best I can. Laughter is guaranteed to ensue. She finds whatever Gooly says to be funny, amusing, amazing and charming.

If she were instructed to do the alphabet, she'd probably do it like this:

ABcDefGHiJ.... and so on. You get the drift. English is clearly not my ah bu's forte.

Meanwhile, Gooly communicates mainly in English. The only non-E words he knows are, "jiak, kai kai, koon, sai".

So there, we have a pair of chicken and duck in da house. And still, they would talk. Everyday, there will be some anecdotes pertaining to farts. And the two 'fowls' would laugh themselves silly.

Using her limited vocabulary, she is nonetheless able to get Gooly to do things that I hate to repeat myself i.e taking his afternoon naps and finishing his meal. She triumphantly announces her success:

"I pujuk him to finish one bowl of rice."

"I conned him into sleeping."

Oh well, her usual technique involves something cold in a shape of a cone. "Ahmah says I can have an ice cream later." he quips. My nostrils flare, but deep down, I am silently pleased that Gooly is pampered.

Of late, Gooly wishes to sleep with her in the afternoon. "I want ahmah.".

When I scold, he also wants ahmah.

He requests 2 cups of water, one for him, one for ahmah.

He says 'lah, mah,aiyah' so ahmah can understand him better.

An imbecile once said, "I will be sad if my baby sayang her grans more than me, the mummy." I have also heard mummies getting offended, jealous, heart-broken when the child prefers the other generation.

Me? Well, I'm glad I brought ducky Gooly home to love and be loved by his cheeky chicken ahmah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Ah bu

She hasn't been well. Due to some diabetes complications she was admitted to the hospital right before Gungxi Gungxi. Her legs were swollen, her back ached, her body weak, her spirit dampened. Not a good way to start the "Menglembu Year".

She was discharged a few days prior to the first day of CNY, and has been recuperating at home since. A year back, it would have been impossible to see her being idle. I reckon she would have:

a. cooked a storm for 19 of us for the reunion dinner, which could be eaten again the next day and next and then there would still be leftovers for Quahli, the dog

b. decorated the house with some shoddy angpows

c. bought pussy willows

d. dug away Quahli's dungs which are terrorising the garden

e. pulled some weeds which grow the very next minute

f. cooked some dunno-wat, froze them and packed them into a big Carrefour plastic bag and asked me to pass to my in laws, despite my reluctant grunts

Oh well.. she didnt do any of the above mentioned this year.

Simtia..sakit hati.. sumtung.

These days, when I drive her to the pasar malam, she stays in the car while I hop down to grab what she needs. When we go out to eat, I'd drop her off right in front of the kopitiam. And very often, I'd have to do a detour to pick her up again. She can't walk that much anymore.

Simtia.. sakit hati..sumtung.

Sometimes when she is seated, she can't get up on her own. She would summon Gooly to help. And Gooly would wrap his hands around her waist. I don't think this frontal Helmich Manoeuvre helps, but she likes the attention rendered. :)

She is only 60 this year. Married at 17, she had her first baby at 18. By 26, she delivered her last baby, yours truly and tied up her fallopian tube.

During my childhood days, she has never shown any temper, except for this one time that my eldest brother pissed her off so much that she lifted her right Bata slipper and attempted to fling it at him. She was almost never mad at me. Err.. except for that time when I took a picture of her without makeup even after numerous warnings of 'you better not'. No digital that time.. so when the picture was developed, I could see her fuming mad. Sorry-loh.

I am actually a photocopy image of her. Our eyes especially. And when we smile, our lips are usually lopsided.

She tells ridiculous stories cos she digresses. Yesterday, she told us how our cousin got dengue fever. She started by asking, "Do you know how she got it?" We said uh-uh, donchno. So she *ahem ahem* cleared her throat and started theorizing:

Ai ai is a good girl. This year, her mother's biz isn't so good. Give angpow also not enough. So ..bla bla bla...

It was a good five minutes before we got to know how Ai Ai got stung by nyamuk aedes.

She also has a habit of telling you something, assuming that you already know:

Neh, who who went to SS there and said the what taste nice woh...

What talking you, ah bu?

Her BM is lagi killer:

You tunggu sikit jam. Itu roti changhai (roti canai) saya beli.

Isn't she cute?

Haiz...The youngest already in her 30s, she would still worry about this and that. Yeah.. I know mothers never stop worrying. But...haiz...Sometimes I get irritated with her. Usually about how she cares for others first and ignores her own plights. Deep down, it's admiration that I feel for her. But still, I'd ngam her. And yet, I know I want to be like her when I grow up.

Once, someone said I idolise my mom. Oh well, if you had a mom like her, you would too. :)

She's the most unselfish person I have ever met. But for now, I wish she would be selfish, and learn how to take care of herself, above all things and people.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Theirs and ours

After an unpallatable course of chocolate ice kacang topped with thinly sliced strawberries, I confessed to Gooly that I didn't like it that much. It was all too nouveau.

Me: It's too weird. Chocolate ice kacang..
Gooly: I like it.. but the ice melted.
Me: Yeah..
Gooly: Why does ice melt?
Me: Yeah...
Gooly: How come ice melt?
Me: Yeah.. *starts recollecting all chemistry, physics and biology lessons while trying to remain composed and calm*
Gooly: Mama, do you know?
Me: *inhales* Yeah.... I don't know. *exhales*

Prof. Sinkar and other equally sinkalan learned, educated friends, perchance you have paid more attention at school? Kindly help...

While Gooly's mind wonders about molecules (or was it atoms) and other 'worthy' matters, I was tangled in an equally frustrating cerebral issue. At 9892+230-8273x2 = y (I am hoping you will give up guessing my chinese horoscope and 'insignificant' age number), a few friends of the same era have seem to lost erm..their mind. One has to tap in the parking number into her handphone so that she can find her pootpoot car later. Sometimes she takes pictures of the parking bay pillars. Another has become slow in catching my jokes. I talk.. and then there is silence.. and suddenly came the half-expected uncontrollable and spasmodic laughter. It's almost a ten-second delay in response, I kid you not..

If I were an animator, I'd probably illustrate Gooly's and other kiddo's brains fizzing and fuzzing actively with sparks spewing; busy thinking and wondering. Ours will be smoky...a little mouldy. With a stamp "ALMOST OBSOLETE".. I kid you not..

Arrghhhhhhhhhh! Kaumeng ah.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

How can think until like that?

Gooly loves eating half-boiled eggs. Usually with a cup of Milo, sikit ais. It is a very quick and easy fix, especially when there is only spicy food available.

"When you are a girl, you eat half-girl egg, " he announced the other day while gulping down his high calorie laden breakie.

Oh shite... who has been telling him about aquas, pengkins or bapoks? Surprisingly, it was Papah who got what he meant this time. Usually I am the one deciphering the codes.

Half boiled egg.. half boy egg.. geddit? :D He reckons that he has been eating half-boy eggs all this while. A tad too silly, ain't it? But he made his ahma laughed so hard, at the kopitiam, in the car.. all the way back to the house.

Scene: Gooly pestering me to blow up his balloons. He must think I have a lot of breath.

Me: I am not blowing anymore. I am out of breath.
Him: I can do it. I am IN of breath.

He does that all the time!! Making up new phrases just by opposing the original meaning! Kek kwai hei..


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