Just got off the phone with a granduncle. Uncle PT asked if we wanted to watch football with him and Uncle PC at a mamak. Told him tonight’s matches were not exciting (Birmingham vs. Arsenal? Everton vs. Manchester City? Rather empty bowels with an enema) and Dee wouldn’t want to watch it too. Then he rambled on endearingly about his varicose veins (“Har? Men also concerned about varicose veins meh?” – “Eh, if you don’t take care, varicose veins can cause blood clots! Actually I didn’t notice my varicose veins until that day yapyapyap blablabla…”) and his upcoming trip to Perth (“Send me a postcard, uncle, got a postcard collection!”).
Uncle PT and Uncle PC are like grandfathers. Grandpa passed away when was three years old. Grandma passed away before even existed. They are both bachelors but robustly healthy and fit at the ages of 80 & 88 respectively! Perhaps never having been married they are both good-natured and simple. Typically, they blather and prattle on so but find that sort of endearing.
Previously, have never appreciated relatives. This year, have sent Chinese New Year cards to relatives we have addresses of. Asked Dee to arrange to watch football with Uncle PT and Uncle PC. Visiting old relatives that previously had hardly thought of, much less visited. Suspect sudden interest to mend family ties may be due to Em’s disdain of Dee’s relatives (“Your family is chronic – one is eccentric, one is queer, one is crazy and dead, and one is in Singapore and never heard of since”). Yeah, unlike her side of the family – one in Canada, one in Sydney, some in Malaysia, but as much communication between us as the dead. At least eccentric and queer gave us some juicy gossip and scandals.
It was a yearly affair to visit a grandaunt’s place on chor yat, where most of the relatives would congregate as well (ie. collect all the angpows in one visit and no need to visit other places thereafter, hee). Such is Em’s contempt that she ‘forbade’ us to visit there this year. D went to a Chinese New Year party of his friend’s with M and a visit to Tesco.
First day of Chinese New Year – you visit a friend and a supermarket.
Second day of Chinese New Year, M went out with her friend to The Mines.
Third day, we couldn’t take it. Went to visit relatives. Em pettily refused to come along (“Why you want to go visit them? They never visited us once.”).
“How can the elder visit us? We must visit the elder,” Dee fumed in the car.
Relatives never fail to ask us, “Where is Em?”
To which we never fail to chorus, “Mahjong loh!”