Saturday, August 22, 2009

0819 - brandon's 1st swim

upon fresh delivery of the baby neck floater from shanghai, and gifted with a sunny afternoon, my sister & i have decided to take baby brandon to his first swim. he's 8 mths and 1 day old, so should be man enough to take on the challenge!

he has his doubts at first, as he was inspecting the pool in quiet. but very soon you can see him enjoying the cool as we swing him slowly in floating water. then he grows more active, circling his little feet. and before you know, he's brave enough to go on his own and display a few olympian synchronized swimmer moves!

thank you for such a lovely experience. look forward to another swim with you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

0810 - shanghai

shanghai is mike's 2nd home. so apart from the hairy crab season which is absolutely unmissable, he also takes the once-in-a-few-months' work opportunity to come home. and whenever he does, a few big family gatherings are always arranged.

if you look from above, you'd see a very different me in these gatherings - i keep a smile on even when eating, and rarely speaks a word - but no fake intended, 'cos the whole gathering is conducted in machine-gun speed shanghainese!

yet i enjoy it a lot being a pure listener & observer. this is a group of people, each with some rich history of their own and some interesting characters. grandma's 93 and so healthy she can almost run on her feet! it's hard to imagine that when she was young, she's been locked up by the government for the sake of her family of 10. how can she stay so positive and happy to this age? when she talks to me she always holds me tightly in her hands. not only did i feel important, i feel an inject of positivity and the wisdom of life into me ... thank you grandma!

then there are the aunts & uncles. the uncle who likes to suddenly pop some english to make conversation with me; another who is a professional cellist and told us off-stage secrets of eason chan as he was in the string quartet of eason's live in shanghai (!); the aunts would always cook us big bags of yummy secret-recipe shanghainese snacks so we can take home with us to hk ... a very loving bunch!

thank you all for teaching me new lessons in family culture!

Monday, August 3, 2009

0725 - my cousin mel

we stayed with my cousin mel on the last few days of our trip in vancouver.

mel has moved from sydney to vancouver not long after university. i would think that is a rather young age. but it seems like she is not afraid of anything. and despite the many complications she has gone through in past years, she has grown into a happily confident lady, and a professionally responsible nurse.

she has grown up in the most protective household of all times. apparently due to her weak body, everything at home needs to be cook steamed (aka tastelss). and TV time is non-existent, while homework time lasted all days & nights. and a single drop of sweat would freak her parents out, and has to be swiped off in 0.001 sec or she would get sick ....

there was a classic story. our families went on an excursion to the countryside together. my sister and i took little mel on a short walk, while the adults were having lunch nearby. i was sure i was holding her hands tight, but next thing i know, mel has fallen into a pond!!!!  i remember trying to pull her up with my full body weight (at 6 yrs old!). soon the adults were there to rescue. and i got into huuuuuuuggggggggggggeeeeeeeeee trouble for the incident.

all these years i thought she has mistaken the 青苔 on the pond to be a grassfield, so she wrong-footed on it and fell into the pond.

mel made a confession when we were in vancouver (after nearly 30 years!)

she had known that it's a pond. yet from cartoons she recalled a fairy flying over and standing on pond-top. so she wanna try the same for herself !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

maybe that's the reason why she's banned from all TV !!!!!!!!

it was good that despite all the bans in childhood she has not abandoned her aspirations. this little fairy has stepped into different ponds and fell, but she has picked up herself time and time again, with no looking back. i admire her being such a brave lady!

mel - thank you for taking us in, and sharing good times together!