*Warning : Tissues required. Please ask Kleenex or Premier to sponsor. If your mascara runs, not my fault, wokay? If people think you are a sissy ahkua, also not my fault, wokay?*
I bought my niece a domain and hosting for two years. It is just an impromptu thingie. (heh, the pahwer of USD and paid blogging) I was with Bryan and my niece, Eileen and suddenly, I said, “Hey, Bryan, buy for me two years? Separate hosting?” Like buy two ringgit of putu mayam like that. My chettiar very easy to deal with one.
I had just emailed her the news. I had wanted to personally go to her house and log in to surprise her but heh, I never got around to go. So, I think I prefer to dramatise things online, let the world peek at some parts of my life.
Now, Eileen, I hope someday, you will archive what I am going to write and keep it. It is part of your dad that you will never know about unless I tell you. He probably won’t tell you the inside of it because it is not the best of memories.
So, here goes. He is 13 years older than me. That is…aiks….take out fingers and toes…chit, nor, sar, see, gor, lak…….56 years old now. That means when I was five, he is 18 years old. He never did that well in school and my dad was awfully fierce. I don’t remember much except that I heard he would cane even my own brother when he was in school. That father of mine probably planted some strong principles in me.
I called my big brother Ah Kok since I was small. Very boh kah si wan ‘cos we were very Westernised and don’t use the correct ways to address our older siblings. I don’t remember how old he was but I did know that he was still in Chung Ling High School when he got into an accident. He was alighting from the bus but before he moved away, the bus moved and injured him badly. He was squashed between the bus and the pole.
Ok, I don’t remember anything about the accident because how da heck you expect a four years old to remember wor. But that few years after that, there was this pile of blood stained uniform which my parents had to keep for court evidence. It was kept in a wooden box under the plank chair. (I don’t know what it is called in English but in Hokkien, we call it ‘bar lay’ which is like a bed.)
Everytime I got nothing to do, I would take out the bloodied clothes and would sure kena scolded. However, those stresses of him staying in the hospital probably gave my father a weak heart.
After that, my father fell sick. He was only around 50+ years and did not even get his pension. I know that life was one big blurry of hospital stays for your dad then my father (ah kong) and even more (later). I was pretty much growing up on my own.
So, ding dong ding dong, fast forward fast forward, Ah Kong died. He was the only bread winner. Your dad was 18 years old and not working yet as there weren’t jobs around Penang. I knew your dad was awfully distressed during the funeral and fainted many times. It was a big chaotic thing which I am glad I don’t remember much.
Rewind sikit balik, before Ah Kong died, I had to go to Standard One. Ah Kong was still around but he was sickly then. Not able to walk, if I am not mistaken. So, I only had your dad to take me to school. School was a few minutes bicycle ride away.
Back then, I dem suakoo and never been out of the home. No kindy and no playskool. So imagine the fright I had when I enrolled in this all Malays school. I did not know a word of Bahasa or English. I did not know how to write ABC.
I was terrified and probably clung to your dad’s leg all the time. And hear this…he had to accompanied me to school till I was in Standard 3. Chialat!
Day in, day out, he had to stand at the school and wait for me. He did not get to go home because I would run after him if he did. Now I wonder what he ate for his meals? Maybe the canteen food? Ewwss…
I was a terrible kid. I dare not even go into the school toilet. So, Ah Ma took me to this medium and took an angkonghu (talisman) because she said my toilet got hantu. Cheh. Your dad still had to wait for me outside the toilet.
Then, after Ah Kong died, your dad had to look for a job as there is still Jee Kor and Jee Koo studying. He only studied up to Form Five and after got that accident, he never go to Form Six. I was by then, in Standard Two.
I also remembered that after Ah Kong died, I must wear a black dress to school as we had to mourn for one year in black. I refused to go to school because I cannot wear uniform.
I remembered the day when he had to travel to Ipoh. It was a job feeding chicken in a poultry farm. I cried and cried and pretended I had stomach ache so that he would not go. Lucky I don’t remember much else.
So, guess what? Jee Chek (my second brother) had to take over the job of taking me to school. And that cilaka Jee Chek dropped me off and he rode the bicycle back. I was in Standard 3. And blardy siasuey, I ran all the way home from school, before school started. Chasing that pekak Jee Chek. Fuwah, I think none of the movies ever show such drama before. Mid way, I lost my way because I never walk. Kampong road is very confusing you know. All the pokok are tall and green. Lucky, some Standard Six girls took me home. I was a total ass but heh, it is pretty funny and dramatic to confess now. I so cute lah.
And after your dad left me with that Jee Chek who didn’t have his patience, I had no choice but to depend on my own. From there, I could walk to school already. Because by then, Jee Chek had to go to MU for his studies. Jee Chek was supposed to be a doctor, very much against his own wishes but more to please Ah Kong. However, he dropped out of MU because he joined Anwar Ibrahim in some demo, I think. Hehehehe , then he returned to USM to study something else due to the ‘problem’ in UM.
So, yeah, you cannot find a better dad than your dad. So, take care of him well for me, ok? I don’t think he tells you this before because those were some of the hardest times in our lives. For him and us all because we relied on his meagre pay and also some handouts from our cousin, Ah Leng Ko. At one point, Jee Kor also got into another serious accident. Looked like the earlier part of our lives manyak suey wan.
He worked for a few years in Ipoh and then, came to Penang and worked. And heh, that’s where he met your mom and all of you lived happily ever after. That’s what matters, right?
So, there, story of my life. Keep it, Eileen. And keep blogging. Write those stuffs that you used to write to the newspapers. Complain about all the things in a legal way. Study hard and believe in yourself. I know he is very proud of you.
Oh ya, I guessed you know that your dad used to accompany me in the hospital when I was taking care of Vincent too. Yeah, of all the people at home, your dad saw Vincent most.
He is always in my prayers and I know Jesus will watch over all of you.