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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Top Three Reasons Why My Dad's Fab

Spending five days stuck to your parents by arms length 24 hours in your late 20s create some classic moments and here is a collection of three, which I aptly named, "Top Three Reasons Why My Dad's Fab".

The very first minute after placing our travel bags in the hotel room, my parents and I went in search of a decent place to have lunch. We walked out of CM Night Bazaar, took a left and there was a restaurant at the junction. My father went in to enquire if they served lunch since it was pass 3:00 p.m.

My mother waited. I waited. Mother fidgeted. If she fidgets, that means I will have to fidget soon, which I did. Mother asked me to go search for my missing dad. Obviously he wasn’t missing since I knew exactly where he was.

In Lim Lena’s kitchen.

Lim who? Lim Lena. That’s the name of the lady boss. My father went in to ask about the opening hours, only to be greeted by a lady in her 50s with a beehive for hair. It was Lim Lena who brought him into her kitchen to show him and subsequently me, what appeared to the biggest looking monster of a fish! It was freaking more than 1 meter long and it was dinner for quite a few tables later that evening.

“Wah si Teochew lang,” said Lim Lena. Her face was made fairer by the thick layer of make-up and her smile outlined with bright red lipstick ala Paloma Picasso.

My father spoke Teochew and he had quite a long conversation with Lim Lena, who then showed him the fresh prawns (never mind I am allergic to all crustaceans), crabs, shell fish etc.

My dad’s fab because he speaks Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and a smatter of Mandarin, a great command of the English language and fluency in Bahasa Melayu. So don't play-play with this bradder, I tell you.. My father went a step further later in the evening, bargaining with some roadside peddler in Teochew... Wahhhh respecta!

I used to crawl into my parents’ bedroom as a child and even when I am grown, I crawl into their bedroom to sleep whenever I am unwell. It has been years since I slept in their bedroom and the trip to Chiang Mai brought us three together again.

On the first night sharing a bedroom with my parents, everything went well. I watched Thai soaps on TV with my father until I fell asleep. Sometime later, there was noise in the room. I rubbed my eyes and sat up in my little corner of the hotel room.

My father was rolling in his bed, kicking the air. I called out softly, “Papa?” and he woke up. He smiled and recounted his dream to me: he was fighting off monster while trying to protect my mother and I.

“I always dream of fighting with strange animals and monsters,” he said as he positioned his hands in a traditional kungfu stance.

My dad’s fab because he is a ninja, wearing a black mask, bouncing swiftly from rooftop to rooftop, fighting dragons and demons when he is asleep. This happens almost every night without fail. As he sleeps, my father creates an alternate dream world where he is a mission to protect his loved ones (often my mother and sometimes the three of us brats) and he kicks up a storm quite literally with his hands and legs flying all over the bed.

On the third day, at my insistence, my parents signed us up for a full day tour, which included a trip to the Karen hilltribe. I had longed to see these beautiful people most known for their long and graceful necks. Karen girls wear brass coils at approximately 5 years. Three coils are added every few years of their lives until these girls are grown.

The travel guide, Prassat briefed us that the journey would take more than three hours and that we will stop at the famous Golden Triangle, where lunch and a boat ride awaited us. Prassat interrupted the conversation we had with John the New Zealander tourist every so often, to inform us of the current location.

“What’s the meaning of this town?” my father asked Prassat.

Prassat explained the name of the town and its origins. My father smiled and proudly told everyone that it was also my Chinese name.

My dad’s fab because he is the only person who feels excited over my Chinese name. And get this, no one paid much attention as he explained the signifance of my Chinese name to the tour guide, the van driver and John, the New Zealander tourist, all while sounding totally excited that Thai town and I shared the same name. My mother was asleep, thus not paying him two seconds of attention. The guide was puzzled and John had a blank on his face.

Even when I pretended not to hear him talk about my name, he said mentioned it THREE TIMES with great pride that only a father can possess in his heart.

It is easy to rewrite this article as "Top Ten Reasons Why My Dad's Fab" but I will have to sit my cute tushy down for the next Nude, Not Naked chapter (which as you noticed, I am cleverly trying to weasel myself out of writing) so why don't you come up with the next seven reasons why YOUR dad's fab?

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