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Malaysian Alien


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Thursday, September 15, 2005
Your Dream Woman
"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree.
Merry, merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra Laugh,
Kookaburra, gay your life must be..."

My mobile died on me. After resuscitating it a few times in the last few months, it finally died. Or rather, I FINALLY gave up on it. Every phone call is cut short approximately 1 minute into the conversation. The display says, “INSERT SIM CARD”. Then there is the keypad issue – my fingernails are dug deep into the keypad after months of keypad sensitivity. So last night, I finally gave up. It’s time to purchase a new mobile, although I much preferred to spend my whatever little savings on Levi’s super low slim cut. Damn mobile!

I got the MAN to accompany me. My father, that is. He is 62 years this year and my closest companion. I mind very much what my mother tells me but I would not mind it if it came from my father’s lips. I guess Freud was right when he said as children all of us vie for the attention of the parent of the opposite sex. My father was the one who told me about the birds and the bees. His voice rings in my head, reminding me to be cautious with men. I think God gave us, girls, fathers to be the one source of truth (the truth about men) and protection from men with ill intentions.

My father bought a mobile a few months ago while I was in London. So it was only natural to ask him to accompany me for my new purchase. I’ve never noticed how important Mandarin is until very recently. Spending so many years in a totally English environment (family spoke English as first language, friends all converse in English) I am suddenly immersed in heck-a-lot of Mandarin.

Dear readers: I officially gave up trying to pick Mandarin as a language on the day a friend told me that I sounded as if I was cussing because the intonation was bad. Using the word “bad” to describe my intonation is a compliment. Trust me.

But back to my experience purchasing this new mobile last evening.

My lips were zipped tight since the conversation between my father and the salesperson was pleasant. I did not want to spoil it by unintentionally cussing. Until…

Father: You remember me? I came the other day to purchase a mobile from you.
Salesperson: I think I do. What did you purchase?
Father: I got that (pointing to a sample in the glass case). My two sons bought their mobiles from you too, a few months ago. Remember?
Salesperson: Yeah… I remember now. Your sons… they were boys, weren’t they?
Otto: They are sons, of course they are boys. Can sons be girls?

Salesperson gave a smile. My father laughed. I got a small discount for being a Mandarin cussing smart aleck, rewarded for attempting Mandarin again. I must say that this salesperson should receive an award for being a courteous and smart salesperson. He managed to tempt me into parting with an extra RM80.00 for a better (meaning more expensive) Nokia model.

I have a good relationship with my father. I remember spending many evenings with him as an only child. My parents are now retired teachers but in the retro years father taught in the morning session and mother, in the afternoon. Consequently my father cared for me in the afternoons while my mother was at work.

My father gave me a cassette tape a few years ago. I listened to it and found the most amazing conversation.

Man: Come on… let’s sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.
Child: Don’t want!
Man: Come on, sweetheart. Mary… had… a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

The man proceeded to sing the popular nursery song and clapped his hands to the tempo. He was gently encouraging the young child to sing-along.

Child: Nooooooooooo…
Man: Come on, baby. You sing into the cassette, ok? With daddy?
Child: I don’t like the sooooooong… (whiny little brat).
Man: Alright we’ll sing “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree”, your favourite, Otto. Shall we?
Child: Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree …

My childhood is one filled with memories of a dashing and smiling young man – my father and the many nursery songs he sung to me.

Dear male readers: Some say, ”Take a good look at your girlfriend’s mother and you can see how your girlfriend will be in 10 to 20 years time.”

I say it is utter rubbish! Take a look at your girlfriend’s father. If your girlfriend had a positive experience with her father in her childhood years, you will have heck-a-lot to measure up. Your girlfriend is the product of her father’s grooming.

I strongly believe that a man creates his dream woman in the form of his daughter(s). All his criterions for a good, attractive woman are subconsciously passed onto his daughter(s) through his nurturing. How you walk, how you talk, what you wear, how much is too much, what makes a man good etc: everything passed on from father to daughter.

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