Since my dad’s family originated from the Sibu, until this very day I do have quite a number of relatives still living there. Well, all those uncle-uncle aunty-aunty cousin-cousin… yeah.. And I felt very fortunate to have good people to
take advantage of free accommodation and food guide and brought us around during my family’s trip there.
Anyway, part of me felt rather out of place being around with the relatives in Sibu. For one, I have never met any of them before, though we are blood-related, we live in different cities, and none had crossed paths before. Meeting them for the first time makes me realize my father’s side of the family is indeed very huge.
Of course I would never blend in the adult conversations most of the time, due to my blindness in the Foochow language and horrible command in Mandarin. Sign language, and mixture of Foochow-Mandarin-Hokkien-English-Malay-Hakka-
Aunt: You may sleep in this room with your dad (in Mandarin)
Me: Ohh ok..
Aunt: But, the washroom is “-----------“ (in Mandarin)
Me: Huh?? Sorry I could not catch the last part (in horribly broken Mandarin)
Aunt: Ahh.. the toilet and the “----------“ are not functioning well, please use the washroom downstairs.
Me: Ohh.. But the “sink” is functioning right?? (I referred “sink” as in sink in English)
**I was trying to think what other word to replace sink, damnit, cant think of the word sink/washing basin in Mandarin or other language.**
Me: Err.. the “thing” that you use to wash the face and brush teeth.
Aunt: Ohhh.. ya ya ya !!! Can use can use.
Me: OK good… thanks a lot
**As I checked the sink, well.. it was broken. The pipes below have been disconnected, and as I turned the water tape there was no water running down. What an interesting conversation.**
I love Kids. I like small children. I like talking to them. Little children are often honest, and they can tell you what they know and what they learned straightforward. They have yet to be affected by the pollution of the evil adulthood, and they are still considered innocent. Talking to them can be surprisingly entertaining, and sometimes they have ideas that no grown men can ever think of.
Well, above that, they are so adorable, there is no harm
And so I got close to this err… grand nephew (damnit I feel OLD now) of mine..
We played, we touched each other there and here (no, I am no child molester), we cuddled, we hugged… Until I spotted something unusual on his skin..
Then my aunt walked by and told me… he has CHICKEN POX.
F**k F**k F**k !!!!!!
I have not had my chicken pox, yet, and I have already came in direct contact with this kid who was already in the 4th day of infection, and he was ALL over me !!! Why has no one warned me about this???
His slivers, his sweats, are all over my shirt and skin !!! Arrrghhhhh… I seriously hope my body resistance is sufficient to fight off this infection, I do not want to miss Chinese New Year!!!
My Chinese New Year celebration might have been jeopardised.
I hate small children now.
That is Ah Huat, the gorgeous, one year younger than me, a great guy, would have been a great friend given the opportunity and time. However, he is my “nephew” technically, in Chinese family generation ranking and categorization. As weird as this sounds, Ah Huat has to call me “uncle” according to the old Chinese custom or convention as respect.
Same goes to the handsome fellow in the picture below:
This is Desmond, also one year younger than me, also a great guy, and would have been a great friend too given the opportunity and time. Yes, like Ah Huat, he is also my “nephew”, and I am his uncle.
Man I feel out of place.
Man, do I feel OLD.
Wait… reality check.. I am only 21…
Ok, I admit, I am OLD.
Side note: To Ah Huat, Desmond and families, thanks for being there for us. I appreciate the help and the endless free food. I shall repay your generosity one day.