Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Family Unit

Unit, Unity, Similarity.

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When I was a teenager, there was once my mother had a heated argument with my father over buying fish. To cool both of them down, I suggested: "Papa, why don't you go and buy the fish you mentioned earlier and Mama will buy the fish which she likes. We promise we will finish both fish at dinner."

My clever suggestion! It turned out Papa came back 20 minutes later with the same type of fish that Mama has bought. And the ironic part is both of them have bought same type of fish in the same quantity even though they went in different directions and bought fish from different vendors in the market!

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Last December a few days before Christmas, there was once my entire family were eating out in a crowded hawker centre. We group ourselves into 4 teams: Papa and Mama, Woofhams and her husband, my brother and my sister-in-law, then myself. We went in different directions to buy food of our choice. 15 minutes later we returned to the big table with all dumplings!

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Although Ching Ming (Grave Cleaning Day) falls on 5th April every year, many families in Brunei carry out the rituals (ie. burning joss sticks and imitation paper money, offering chicken and rice and weeding the area) a week before the real day to avoid traffic congestion at the cemetery. Last Sunday after burning all paper monies for my granduncle (ie. my grandfather's third brother) and with the temperature screaming at 36 degree celcius, all of us were hungry and thirsty.

Papa led the group: Let's go and grab food & drink.
Uncle Bin asked: What do you like to eat?
Papa: Usual.
10 minutes later we arrived at a popular eating place in Kuala Belait (the oil town of Brunei), and waitress asked for our order, Papa and Uncle Bin gave a unified response without hesitation: Chicken rice and Teh si!

***

2 comments:

woofhams said...

To add on the the December dinner, seven of us actually ordered either ban mian or fish soup as main meal :)

I guess this is the bonding, telepathy or 'magic' of family.

pancake Queen said...

HaHa ... indeed true!

Btw, I love your post on "I miss my grandparents". No one would believe the uniqueness of our family. Yesterday I was in a meeting, and I shared with fellow members the fact that: "Vivian is my auntie"; "Yep, that's my father's uncle"; "Yeah, he's my grandfather", etc. And the most sensitive question came when they asked: "If I heard you right, you were referring Mr Lim as your "ah-gong"'s son, and why you didn't call him your uncle".

Our family tree is indeed a very complex one, but nevertheless a very interesting one, too.