we grew up some more and moved to our current home. when our parents traveled ahgong would come up and stay with us. one day Fann saw snakes in the living room - the developers had torn up a hill to build our community and in the early days there were angry monkeys, squirrels and snakes in the neighbourhood - and called ahgong who was at the office.
he rushed home, asked Fann where the snakes were ('under the sofa!') then proceeded to proactively attack the snakes! you cannot imagine how shocked and impressed we soft city kids were. ahgong poked under the sofa with a broom to drive out the snakes, then whacked them rather violently as they slithered out.. until they stopped moving.
have you ever read man and boy? ahgong is from a different era, when men exhibit 100% hypermasculinity. when a mother saying, wait till your father gets home! is enough to get kids to behave. when i saw him bashing those snakes (sorry snakes, but i'm afraid of you guys) i thought of the man's father from the book.. how safe it is to have ahgong around!
7. [backtracking a bit and breaking up the timeline because fresh memories surfaced a couple of days ago]
when i was little sometimes ahgong would take me to the mamak to have a cup of Milo. he would tip some Milo into a saucer and blow on it a bit to cool it, while i would squirm in my seat from anticipation.
after deciding that the Milo is safe for consumption, ahgong would let me start on the Milo, sometimes with a teaspoon, sometimes just drinking from the saucer as if it a big shallow mug.
now when i think back it's a bit vulgar, the whole pouring beverage into saucers thing, but also very charming. i wonder if people still do it nowadays?
when i cut myself or had a nasty mosquito bite ahma would blow on it, saying aah-pom! aah-pom! like a magical chant. (placebo for kids, haha.)
ahgong, on the other hand - and to the horror of my mum - would stick a Band-Aid on it.
'ah pa, the wound needs to breathe,' i remember mum saying as i admired my lovely Band-Aid.
'nah, it's better to cover it so she doesn't scratch,' ahgong responded.
i LOVED those Band-Aids, probably because mum never used them, so they felt really special.
i suspect it was ahgong who introduced me to roti gula. （笑
of course mum stopped me from eating it, but it's my preferred roti style (which i hardly eat).
i want to remember how ahgong chews, forever. i'm not sure what was the deal with his teeth but whenever he chews, his entire face scrunches up, then relaxes, scrunches up, then relaxes.. it kinda reminds me of a dog. (is it bad to say that?)
as a kid i liked mimicking his chewing style, believing it was the way adults ate and that it would make my food more delicious.
'what are you doing?' i recall mum asking in the tiny dining area of our first family home at 803, Blok H7, Pandan Jaya.
one of the times ahgong was looking after me at 803, i must have caught a stomach bug, because i was on the toilet ALL the time. finally he decided to bring me to the doctor. so we walked to the doctor's, but on the walk home i had to go NOW so i pooped on some grass in a parking lot.
we didn't have tissues on us so ahgong picked up some old newspapers and we, you know, free-styled. i still remember i wearing this pink top and pants set with white polka dots on that day.
too exhausted to cry today.
all that crying last night wore me out. seriously i regretted it this morning as i dragged my sorry self out of bed.. and again when i went to pick up the violin and was served by a young and handsome violin player（晕
anyway i'm starting to get used to the fact that ahgong is physically no more (sometimes i forget, and when i remember.. ugh it's like seeing the text for the first time).