Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Chan's hospitality

Photo borrowed from Mary Sim. She took a photo of blind person in the Blind centre.

 I like to highlight the hospitality of the Chans as I conclude this section. We were in Embang Road and one day, a blind man came to 3rd Aunt’s shop and insisted that she led him to our house. Mother brought her home; a complete stranger except his surname was the same as us. He learnt Father was a very kind person and would help him contact Dr. Wong to get a referral to go to China and treat his blindness. Mother agreed to take him, and it took a long time to get an appointment. When the doctor said he could not be treated, and would not give him a referral, he was stubborn, and wanted a second opinion.
In the mean time, he stayed with us for a long time sharing Grandfather Chan’s bedroom, billeting on the floor. He ate as though he had never eaten before, he was a scrawny thing when he came, and we really fattened him up. Grandfather Chan did not mind him so much, but this blind man kept talking to him late into the night, and when Grandfather Chancsaid he had to sleep, he turned on his transistor radio. It irritated Grandfather especially when he was always talking to him and us children, disturbing us in our homework. He went, but he came back again. Finally his relatives came to take him home and apologized for overstaying his welcome.
I was sweet 16 and never been kissed. The blind man needed someone to hold his hand and led round the house. If not, he said to tap on the wall, and he would listen to the sound and be guided this way. I felt embarrassed to hold a man's hand. One day, I led him to the dining room by tapping. I tapped on the door way, and "BANG!" he crashed his head on the door frame and had a big gnash on his forehead oozing with blood. Rose was very good, and quickly washed his head, and put on a band aid plaster.
Mother scolded, "What were you embarrassed about? He can't even see you."
For a couple of days, he enjoyed Rose' tender loving care. The blind man went home, and told the whole village how good this "Brother John Chan" was to him.
They nattered, “He is so good, and why don't you go there?
One day, Mother saw him in 3rd Aunt’s shop with a "Haj's head."  He was beaten up so badly that no way was Mother going to let him return home.      His relative said he raped his niece. We could not believe he cannot even know where to go, how he could rape a girl. Mother said, they just want an excuse to send him away.
Father approached our ex neighbour, Mr. John Wong Siong Cheng, Charlie and Edmund’s dad, about a placement at the Bind Centre in Bukit Lima.  John was the secretary of the Blind Centre. Mother said he was sent to the blind centre in Kuching. He was much happier with his flute. We never heard of him again. Mother wondered why he was not sent there a long time ago. Of course, he did not have connections that Father and Mother had.

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