Friday, January 11, 2008

We Are Here!

We took our Macau Flight AK488 on Tuesday 8/1/2008 3.40 pm. So we are on the go!

And we had spend two days in Hong Kong. And it was really about FOOD! FOOD! and FOOD! Ehmm what's new?

At the moment, we are at the Asian largest Toy and Games and Stationary Fair. The men had gone checking out their "high tech" toys and I decided to just use the exhibition provided service, the Internet to full use.

Excellent Exhibition! Exhibition place Hong Kong! Excellent Food! Will update you guys when we get home.

Grandpa Wong: The Story of Their Lives

I really wish I can tell lots of stories about Grandpa Wong and Grandma. Being the Kuching grandchildren, my siblings and I really did not spend too much time with the Gramps. Especially in those years when we were overseas furthering our studies. Also Grandpa has always been Grandpa, our dear Kung Kung, so we never tried to find out.

When I was little, he was the greying yet robust grandpa, never in a day sick. He was booming loud yet loving to his grandchildren. Thus, he is a Kung Kung that we were never scared of. In fact everyone enjoys going to Kung Kung and Ma Ma. All those Sibu holidays we spend at Gramps' were wonderful. Nice sweet pictures so clearly etched in our memories.

This time we see each other, there was a sad moment when it was registered that Grandpa has really aged. But he is still Grandpa, eagerly welcoming all his offsprings and wanting to absorb in each one of us.

I remember the last birthday celebration for him. It must have been so many years ago. We were all still little chipmunks. Some of us were not even born yet. We all pooled in our little pocket money to get Kung Kung a birthday present and a card. We managed a belt. And he sat there with all of us surrounding him listening to him reading out our names in Foochow.

This trip had us gathering more information about Kung Kung and Ma Ma. Sibu people called them Ting Chiong Pa and Ting Chiong Mu. Ting Chiong Pa came to Sibu at the age of 6 from the Fujian Province of China with his mother and brother. Life back home had been hard with his father passing away. But a widow with two children in no man's land at that point in time was nothing less than immense hardship. Grandpa had to start rubber tapping work at young age.

He met Grandma and as he sheepishly tells us, he would try to tap her share of the rubber for her. Grandma must be one hot young lady at that point in time. And when Japanese invaded, Great Grandma was worried for her safety and thus, when Grandpa proposed, they were married almost the next day without any fuss. She was only 16. Life continued to be hard but Grandpa with sheer foochow guts and perseverance worked hard to bring meals to the tables and building a nice little house for the family. He worked different jobs and continued to work and ride his motorcycle till he was 70 plus.

Grandpa at one stage took up jobs as rubbich contractor and traders for forest produce. Thus he has many many many Ibans friends. He always insisted you dont cheat Ibans or anyone else for that matter. "You promised them something, you delivered". He was the man on high integrity and adhered to strict rules of honesty. In the days as rubbish contractor, when we were at Gramps, I always distinctly hear his motorcycle enjine starting at wee hours in the morning as early as 2 -3 am when he started work. He could have left it to his workers but he just had to supervise their work. Sometimes picking up rubbish dropped onto the ground. When he retired, he was still employed as construction site supervisor because of his honesty. He would returned every cents entrusted to him if there were any leftovers.

From what we gathered, he was a strict dad too. Together they had 9 children ~ one boy and 8 girls. All of them beautiful and attractive. Stories goes that every chinese new year would have potential suitors lining up the staircase at Grandpa. The offsprings then produced 22 grandchildren (excluding the 4 grandchildren in law) and 4 great grand children. That's some achievements!

It is true that wealth is measured by financial assets. Grandpa Wong may not have a lot of this. But no one can deny that wealth also comes in the forms of strong family ties, health, friends whom you respect and trust and respect and trust you. If we take these as the measurements, Grandpa is a truly wealthy man. Long live Grandpa and Grandma! Happy Birthday and Happy 64th Wedding Anniversary!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Grandpa Sibu's Brithday Bash

The time had come. This was what all 9 children, 22 grandchildren & 4 great-grandchildren came back to Sibu for. Everyone (almost) was back for Grandpa's 90th Birthday & 64th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

A man would have many achievements in his life. But being able to live up to a 90th birthday with 64 years of marriage is really an achievement by itself, a feat very few people can hope to achieve in this day & age.

The dinner event was held at the Paramount Hotel.

Sound very Paramount. But in reality, they didn't even have an F&B manager around. You'd have to do everything yourself, like going into the kitchen to ask for the food to come out.

But it was a grand ocassion. The place arranged to be nicely decorated by our own florists, Carol and Aunty Linda.

The wedding cake all over again.

I think Grandpa & Grandma looked healthier than the couple on the cake.

Everyone from Sibu turned up that evening. Yes, you can squeeze the whole of Sibu into one room.

Big shots like Wong Soon Koh & Robert Lau also graced the occasion with their presence.

With the elections nearing, we were a bit worried that they would accidentally slip into their SUPP political speeches.

But they were very gracious. They only talked about Grandpa, shared stories of the old days, & thanked him for his contributions to the Party.

For that moment, I actually respected them... for respecting Grandpa. NEE: By the way, these guys actually delivered their speeches in 100% formal official Foochow, which is practically unheard of. Foochows are really BIG on their dialects. Greg was just sitting there totally catching no ball.

This is the first time I've been to a real formal dinner function in Sibu. And this is the first time I see Foochow Mee Sua being served in a restaurant.

I have to say (with Nee agreeing), this is the most excellentest Mee Sua we've ever had. Of course, it's Sibu!Note that I did not take any photos of the other food. During the course of the pst 3 days, we have been fed with enough food in our guts to last us for three weeks. We felt like camels. So we had to stop eating by the 7th dish that night.

And then they show began! Nee & Uncle Morris were the MCs for that night. They worked hard for the first half of the event. In the second half, they became sit-down MCs.

And of course, there were no shortage of entertainment from the many talented children...

On, these were grown up children.

And superstar grandchildren & great grandchildren.

Sheila shines on the piano.

Stephanie steps on it...

This is the Foochow Jay Chou. I like the sound of that. It even rhymes. Edison thought nobody recognised him because he sang so good.

And of course, Megan was again the star of the night, belting out two songs. If you tell her that she was good, she'll tell you that nobody has signed her up yet.

Foochow kids...

And the event continued on...

Grandpa & Grandma cut their cake. Grandpa insisted on doing it standing up.

Grandpa talked. He insisted as well.

Grandpa gets flowers. We all insisted.

That's Foochow persistence for you.

Oh, & finally, I made this video presentation clip. It was a frantic last minute thing with Aunty Linda digging up old photos & Cousin Teng taking pictures of the photos!

It's called The Story of Our Lives

This clip is also available on YouTube. Oscar was there. Read his comments.

Blog Glitch!

To Our Dear Hundreds of Thousands of Readers,

Sorry about the glitch yesterday. Half of Malaysia must have been trying very hard to get into our blog unsuccessfully. Advertisers have been calling us threatening to withdraw their million-dollar advertising contracts.

However, we have solved the problem already and Greg & Nee is back on the Go!

Our apologies if not being able to read our blogs have caused you any form of inconvenience, temper tantrums, emotional distress, self-mutilation, avian bird flu, hand foot & mouth disease, brain damage, blot-clotting, deep depression, cancer, physical violence, & mental disharmony.

We are also sorry if we've caused the KLSE index to drop 5 points. It was unintentional.

You can read about what actually happened here.

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