Sunday, August 27, 2017

a wedding in a boat

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When my parents were married, it was during the war. Mum lived up the Rejang River in Durin. Dad lived in Lanang Road in Sibu. Dad paddled a canoe with a wedding dress he borrowed from his very good friend Chew Chiong Tack's wife. 

We used to joke that she was Pochohunta paddling the canoe down and singing the Land of the Belian tree. We teased that she ran away with her man John because she didn't have a wedding photo. 

Today, a friend IDed the husband and bride of this photo. In my "From China to Borneo to Beyond" book, I mentioned back in the home land of China, in the Hakka village of my mum, the Kongs, the Kongs always married the Lai/Leas and vice versa. In deed my informant told me this was a Kong/Lea match. The husband could very likely be Mum's cousin, because he comes from the same lineage of Mum's ancestry.

This photo created a lot of interests. A certain doctor googled and read his dad's name, and he sent me a photo of his parents' wedding photo. His mum wearing her wedding dress which she very kindly loaned to many Sibu girls.

This photo raised a flurry of comments in blogger land. It was Chang Yi who first posted the photo. A Kai Chung School friend and a classmate who IDed the photographer who was my Dad's very good friend in Singapore.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sarawak Mulu Caves

When I went to Mulu, I was treated like royalty. They danced for us.

flower

Fast forward some twenty five years, I was living with my three year old son who became a scary cat after he was frightened by the loud engine sound of my friend’s old Holden. It came to a stage that it was so bad that he refused to leave the apartment. We were imprisoned in our own home because the old Holden was parked downstairs of our apartment.

Come another old lady to the rescue. My girl friend’s mother told me to get nine types of flowers to bath him. I remember my late Grand Ma’s flower power treatment. I went gathering flowers.

It didn’t work for my son, he refused to get into the tub with flowers floating on it. It took a long time, and a lot of coaxing, D even dragged Sam to no avail and finally requesting my friend to remove the car. She was very accommodating. At last we were freed of the clutches of fear.

In Singapore and Bangkok, I often go and luxuriate in the health and beauty spas. The aestheticism and spa technicians sometimes run a tub filled with rose petals or orchid flowers. They tell me their sing song English that the flowers have extracts that will relieve me of stress and relief from insomnia I laughed, my Grand Ma knew about this long ago.

Back in Auckland, I go for Chinese massages. The Chinese doctor soaks my feet in tiny red flowers in a wooden tub before he massages my feet and the rest of the body. Oh!!! I feel so pampered.

Ginseng

Ginseng Jawa (Talinum paniculatum gaertn.) surprised to see this in my friends garden in Auckland. Growing wild. They grew wild in my Singapore garden. I picked the flowers as cut flowers, but they drop off in a day. My aunty told me that it can be used as ginseng and the leaves are edible.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Great Grand Mother


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Great Grand Father Chan Kwong Kuok and Great Grand Mother Lee Ngin Kiew. Great Grand Father came to Sarawak a few times from aged 33. He left Great Grand Mother at home, may be to take care of the ancestor tablets. Great Grand Mother was a grass widow, a woman whose husband had gone else where for work.
My mother was a grass widow twice. each time when Dad went to Singapore and London for education.
Such amicable women.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Floods in Sibu


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Borrowing my aunty Francisca Leong's photo. I have often written about the annual floods in Sibu. The flood water usually comes at night, and Mum and Dad would get us all up to push the car to a higher place. We would wade in the water back to the house.

The next few days, the flood water would come to our knees. That's a fun time for us, swimming and paddling in a man made raft that Dad made for us.

When the water recedes, it is not nice, vegetables, papaya trees die, and worst still, dead animals float away

Did I ever tell you I have a phobia of rats and mice? During the flood, the rodents come up to the raised edges of the vegetable beds. I associate the rats with the plague of London.


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