Tuesday, February 20, 2007


It's one of my favourite festivities - the Chinese New Year. Something that is looked forward to as relatives from far and near meet and catch up. And it's always associated with food and, more food.

However, my automatic reaction when CNY arrived this year was that I became full. I wasn't really not having appetite but I knew I wasn't gonna pig my way in the dining room. Eating too much is really a sin for me - the process of getting rid of the blotiness really kills the fun of eating.

Dad and Tiong Hoe are greatly missed this year. They are in 福建晋江省东石镇as we speak. It's been one of Dad's must-do for quite some time already. After the three of us, Tiong Hoe was the last one to have not visited Dad's place of birth. After they reached there, sms-es were pouring in. They read: I'm dying here, please save me. That and other variations conveying the meaning that my youngest bro wasn't surviving the life there. It's quite understandable, Tiong Hoe didn't get to speak much in Hokkien (闽南) after he was borned, at least not as much as I. He wouldn't be able to understand much, if not at all, the words that are coming out from the locals' mouths. Furthermore their accent should be original hence a little heavier. Most importantly, he had no other choice but to go with my Dad. Coincidentally it's also a chance for him to learn of Dad's birthplace and the people who have contributed in Dad's life.

I'll be going back to Melb on Sat. I'm sure I'll cry when I hug Dad and Mom goodbye. I know how much I'll be missing home. As much as it's enough to make me cry when I think about home.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Flew back to Bukit Tinggi with Mom on Monday. Grandma was actually thought to be dying so we rushed back to see her for one last time. I had actually not seen her for more than a couple of years, as far as I could recall.

As uncle's car approached the still very familiar and yet strange, because of time, village a lot of childhood memories came rushing back into my mind. I still remember how exciting it was to come back to Bukit Tinggi when I was still a toddler. It was like an annual thing to go back to grandma's place. It's a hilly hence chilly place, just a few kilometers away from Genting Highland.

I remembered the paths where I had run on together with my cousins, who I had not seen for ages too. I remembered the houses that were around grandma's house. They have changed a little - reconstructed, strengthened, repainted... Somehow everything seemed, smaller than what I used to remember.

Grandma looked so weak and petite lying in her bed, losing (or gaining, as we later learned) her consciousness. My cousins, who I had remembered to be bigger and taller than I was, also didn't seem to live up to my out-of-date expectation. I had become equal, if not bigger than they were.
I was telling my Mom about this. She didn't quite get it. I myself didn't understand what I was feeling myself. The houses in the village which I had once thought to be tall and big, all seemed to have shrunk.

It's time that I accepted the inevitable. Something that I realised from another angle - that I have to accept that I am no longer the skinny young boy everyone remembered.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

If I had eyes at the back of my head (in addition to the front view)

(I haven't actually finished this post since the new year! But I'll just post it up first. Watch out for the ending.)

It's the 6th day of the new year. I have procrastinated on this post for some 5++ days now so I am gonna go back to the moment before the calendar year aged. Taking a deep breathe I open the door and step into the 2006-memories vault.

Going back to Melbourne in February wasn't something I had looked forward to. It was a total change of environment where I was going to Monash University. It was all new and I didn't know a single soul there. I was so used to doing uni with people that I was close with. I was used to people saving seats for me (or vice versa). I was used to going out with people that I knew. Familiarity was then a luxury I no longer had.

Also I was living with my sister again, after, what, 4 years? I appreciate that because we don't share surname for nothing do we? Cooking is easy because both of us can cook and we take turns. But, I am not gonna say who, someone could have taken more of a role in cleaning the carpet and toilet. Remember, I didn't name names...

Uni was a total mess as I didn't enjoy anything that I was studying in the first semester. Business Law, Managerial Accounting, Accounting Systems and Funds Management (worst subject ever) - which were all so darn boring. Going to Uni was dreadful and it made me miss all my ex-Uni mates. Consequently my grades sufferred too but...

Luckily a part-time job at OSHCworldcare came to rescue in April. It was the first time I was working in Aus and earning AUD. I still remember the euphoric moment when I first paid tax. The most memorable event was attending training at a 5-star hotel and we got room service! It was a good evening indeed.


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