Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Of calm amidst the chaos

I glanced at the clock. Almost 6pm. Almost time to pack the rackets and head over for a game of tennis with Pa at AhKung-and-AhMah's house. The tennis courts at my grandparents' house were where I first learnt the game. By late primary school, the routine was set. When Pa's car pulled into the house, I'd look for the tennis rackets under the staircase, in the playpen. The tennis balls would be on top of the shoe cupboard outside. On arrival, "Hi Akung! Hello Ah Mah!" Barely pausing for polite conversation, we would head through the back of the house, past the doghouse and the kitchen to the tennis court behind. I remember always being secretly nervous about snakes (snakeskins were infrequently found at the back of the garden) so would only feel at ease on the cement of the tennis court.

Much later, depending on how I'd played (I'd either be bitter with losing to Pa or thrilled that I'd hit some winners), we'd troop back and have a glass of ice cold water from the fridge. We'd then sit at the table and make small talk with Ah Kung and AhMah. Ah Kung would usually be playing Solitaire against himself, Ah Mah would be having tea in a china teacup, usually not saying very much. If Uncle Ching or Aunty were there, they'd be doing most of the talking - usually around family happenings or business matters - I'd be listening with only half an ear; not much went in at that age!

 As the years went on, Ah Kung and Ah Mah became a fixture in my mind - they were the heads of the family, and come exams, failures, achievements, family squabbles, they stayed (in my mind) immovable, always sitting at that table imparting wisdom; a picture of calm in the midst of the whirlwind of the 1990s. Even in the Chinese New Year fire that caused Ah Pak David, Pa and I to rush wildly to the back of the house to prevent the flames from burning the fence down, I didn't recall any sign of panic on their behalf. When Ah Kung passed away, Ah Mah continued sitting and presiding over family happenings. One of my regrets is not getting to know them better during their lifetime. I was always rather in awe of Ah Kung; Pa would tell me stories about his prowess at games and about how he studied in Hong Kong, escaping just before the war and how he started up in Malaysia. Ah Mah mainly spoke Hokkien, while I could communicate with her in English and Kutien, I was never really sure of her replies.

Today Ah Mah passed away, just after midnight in her home, surrounded by her children. In the months before she passed, Aunty, Catherine and Margaret bore the brunt of looking after her with utmost patience. With both of them gone, I am reminded of how time seems to moveso quickly, almost callously, and of how each generation gives way to the next. No longer with their mediator and guide, our parents now the leaders of the family, and we, their children, now fast approaching the mantle of responsibility ourselves.

It's still AhKung-and-AhMah's house to me. Have a good trip Ah Mah. When you see Ah Kung say Hi from us!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I like

Waking in near-darkness to the sound of rain pattering outside, rolling over to check my phone and finding its only 0445. And its a Saturday morning. Bliss.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I do not own this video,

But boy does it bring back a smile at almost every vignette!

Jinnyboytv, you're one more to watch!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Status quo-ing

I've gotten comfortable. Time to get my feet wet again.

In the meantime, some shots of what's been going on.

Some loose ends to tie up before I head out to the wilderness of Wodonga for my rural medical rotation.

Things to look forward to include getting back in the portfolio game; Aussie style, restarting prep for June/July PACES, maintaining a study group ethic, continually sampling the delights of Melbourne's foodie delights, awaiting my outpatient clinic appointment, catching up with long-lost friends; Mass-Effect-ing, yus the list goes on and it Has been a while since a last update.

So bye comfortable-ness and hello the vastness of unsure-ty!

'Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.'
Ps 34:5

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 05, 2012

And again

FORGET the former things;

Do not DWELL on the PAST.


Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a WAY in THE DESERT


Isa 43:18-19

Thursday, February 02, 2012

And we are!

Ray and Caroline,

See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! 1 Jn3:1

For some reason the movie Despicable Me came to mind while reading this, lol!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Best popcorn ever!

When I saw this on the ward one day, I knew I had to get some. Unfortunately on google, the only place seemed to be a delivery from an online shop from Sydney. Hence my trip to Costco Docklands to stock up for Australia Day goodness while watching Federer and Nadal duke it out for a place in the finals.

As to the popcorn itself, I believe its American, its got an addictive glaze and when the glaze includes a nut or two, it's got a nice crunch as well.

My Costco haul

Pretty embarrassing, considering people all around me were filling up their trolleys to the brim - everyone seemed to be running small businesses.

However I couldn't resist the Root Beer after not having it for a long while.

The little things in life

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Aussie Open 2012

Finally made it for some tennis action at the Australian Open yesterday after watching Tomic vs Dolgopolov on the telly the night before.

At the gates

A late start due to a forgotten credit card meant that I arrived at Flinders Street only at 1pm. Unsure which direction to take, I ended up having a quiet walk down the riverbank to the entrance of Rod Laver Arena.

 Who knew Berdych would later be known as the man who refused to shake hands?

As usual, the place was packed, perhaps even more so than at Wimbledon with a great deal more foodstalls as well as long, long queues to get into each of the show courts.

 The grounds

The top two courts at the Aussie Open are the Rod Laver and the Hisense Arena - these get top billing and the top matches are usually played at night here. Tickets to each of these are exclusive to each, as in a Hisense ticket holder would not be able to access Rod Laver and vice versa. The next show court down is the Margaret Court Arena - access to this court as well as all the other ground courts is covered by a ground pass.

Watching the scores and envying the spectators while waiting to get in

Clutching my mobile ticket in hand, I made my way to the end of a queue waiting to get into Show Court 2 (the next one down from Margaret Court Arena) and began my waiting game. What happens is that new seats only became available when people already sitting get up to leave. And if you have a seat, you are allowed up to 3 exits to get food, use the toilet etc before your seat is given up to newcomers. All this meant that those arriving in the 2nd or 3rd wave of visitors had to wait ages to get into the seated courts.

 Wimbledon was green, down under it's blue!

Still having no idea whom I was going to be watching, I finally found myself in the middle of a match between David Ferrer and Juan Ignacio Chela - exciting until Ferrer took the second set and his opponent started giving up in the 3rd, even applauding some of David's shots at the end.

Above where we were sitting were a group of Aussies who cheered boisterously after almost every point and when the points were not so exciting, would break out into fragments of song, often using the player's names.

After the match, we were pleasantly surprised when we found we were about to watch a mixed doubles between Bernard Tomic, the Aussie thats getting all the news at the moment with Jelena Jankovic against a couple of young Aussie players. The cheering section above us were in their element now, and started cheering in between points, asking Tomic to wear his headband and enquiring as to the whereabouts of his girlfriend.

The match itself was pretty straightforward with Tomic and Jankovic winning pretty easily.

The final match we watched was a mixed doubles between Max Myrnic and Leander Paes, both of whose partner's names escape me. Compared to the first two matches, this was a pretty relaxed affair, with Leander showing why he was, and still is a doubles player ot repute - with a killer backhand volley/smash and masterful touches into open court areas.

So ended a sunburnt day at the Australian Open. 2 down, 2 more to go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It's nice to know,

Somewhere not too far away,

Two people are completely happy.