Friday, December 04, 2009

penang

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* Kids at a Penang bus stop

In summary, just three main things to say about Penang (28- 30 Nov):

* The kids now know they have tons of relatives scattered all over Malaysia
* Day really has a wonderfully experimental palate
* IT FELT SO BLOODY GOOD TO HAVE A REAL BREAK

Now for the longish main paper, in point form.

WHY WE WERE THERE

The gorgeous Ying-Ying’s wedding.

My 27-year-old Malaysian niece, the first in her generation (she is Day, Jo and Lu’s contemporary), gets hitched.

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Me, Day and Jo head to Penang with my folks and some elders.

Why not KK? I told him to go. He, who hates flying and family dos, said no thanks.

Why not Lu? KK said: “Please leave one behind.”

FLIGHT

Jo’s first flight in her memory. Sydney has been erased.

Incredible how nonchalant both kids were.

Me and KK, our palms still sweat when we fly.

These kids read their books and munched their snacks right through the very short hour-long flight, even when there was mild turbulence.

What got to them was the stuffy ears. Jo: “I don’t want to fly on an aeroplane again, my ears are funny.”

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FAMILY FAMILY FAMILY

My dad has four siblings. Three and him came out to Singapore.

The eldest stayed in Malaysia. He has nine children. They all have kids.

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* My dad and his eldest brother

All turned up for Ying-Ying’s wedding and suffice to say, my kids and I, were effectively dazzled.

Most times we were all standing around yabbering away in Cantonese: “Who is this? Is this somebody’s son or daughter? What should my children call you? Yi ma? Gu ma? Bak gong? Biu yi? Kao fu?”

At the end of it all, Day and Jo still had no idea who was who. Day’s teacher asked him: Who got married in Penang? And he said “I don’t know”.

I did try to explain but I only got up to the part with the nine children and trying to point them all out.

I do hope they get that they have family in Malaysia, and I do hope they grow to love having a big family and hanging out with relatives.

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* Day with Uncle Yew and cousin Felicia

My biggest joy this trip was seeing all the fabulous cousins and kids grown-up.

Here I am with (on my left) the maid who looked after me for the first 10 years of my life, and my cousin (on my right) who married her! And their three lovely kids!

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FOOD FOOD FOOD

Come on, Penang and food!

Everything tasted heavenly probably because it’s the first time in a long while I had such an extended period of time to actually eat slowly and savour food without having to rush or wash up.

Day fell in love with the sourish Penang laksa. I ordered two bowls over two days, he finished both off.

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And in all our meals of big fish, big prawns, big clams, big oysters, he ate it all with relish.

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Jo just kept asking me for bee-tai-mak fishball soup, her comfort food.

MY BREAK

Oh my God. My first time out of the country since our return from Sydney over two years ago.

No housework!

No baby to carry!

No computer!

No mobile phone!

I am the sort of person who would happily throw the mobile and computer out the window, so imagine my joy at being completely cut off in a hotel with no computer and a mobile which does not roam.

What a BREAK.

Waking up lazy every morning, napping every afternoon, sleeping at 11 because there really is nothing to do, not even having to think about anything / argue about anything because the relatives are taking care of the entire programme.

Come to think about it, the me/Day/Jo combination was perfect for me. If KK were there I’d have to cater to him. I won’t care to explain that.

Happy happy happy!

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3 comments:

Lobo Girl said...

Love that first pic! And that short break did you so much good- you look incredibly rested. :)

did you say naps every afternoon?
DRROOL- I am soooo envious

tumbleweed in timor lorosae said...

hey glad u had a well-deserved break! JO's looking sooooo cute , esp in the last pix. i want to squeeze her cheeks........

Jayna said...

You look so refreshed! You need to do this more often...