Monday, February 02, 2015

Cavalock and The Family's Eldritch Secrets

This kopi tiam stall serving Thai-style wanton noodles along Syed Alwi Road has been mentioned more than a couple of times in food blogs but apparently I picked the worst time to visit BaaMee Bangkok, in the afternoon right after it was featured in a TV spot earlier that morning. Well, at least that was what I was told when I had to wait almost an hour for my lunch but I was fine with that. So was it worth the wait? It was hearty and at only S$4.50 a bowl, I can't really complain much. I did enjoy the dumplings which I felt were nicely marinated and full.

But even though I'm willing to pay the place a return visit especially since it's just a ten-minute walk from my apartment, I have heard and seen ... er... other viewpoints. There was another customer who returned his dish cos the pig trotters was still a little too hairy for his liking and a friend who went on another day wasn't terribly impressed bout the food and service either.

My 93-year-old aunt, the matriarch of the family passed away last week. I was her caregiver for almost three years. I was also extremely fortunate that despite being bedridden, she was still fully alert and we shared many hours talking about family and stuff. When she first went to the hospital (yes, at 89 years-old it was her first time being admitted to a hospital), I didn't think twice about quitting work and taking care of her full-time. It was really a no-brainer that I would or should take care of her. I mean, she took care of me when I was little kid so of cos it's my natural duty since there was no one else to do the job. I have to admit the first two years weren't easy, it was emotionally and mentally exhausting. Seeing all your ex-colleagues enjoying life on social media wasn't fun. But I have absolutely no regrets about it, yup, ain't gonna trade them for anything. Over the months, we have already said all the things we wanted to say to each other and when she finally passed, there were no regrets and it was peaceful.

Like I said, my aunt could still put up a good fight and was fiercely independent right till the end. I was still in my own way, afraid of her. She spoke fluent English and was constantly surprising healthcare professionals. One foolish youngling dared asked her where did she learn to speak English. My aunt snapped back at her, "In school of course!". Among her many mantras to me was to take the money and spend it on "good food", not to comb her hair like Hitler's and that "only farmers wear jeans!". From her many stories, I found out that there be World War II loot in the house and far-flung relatives. I guess it's also partly cos she was still sharp and perceptive that I didn't feel it was such a chore to look after her. I suppose if she wasn't responsive, things would had been different.

I did learn a lot of about old family home over the last couple years. Gawd, where do I start? Since my aunt wasn't living there anymore, I started clearing the house. Geez, the vintage retro stuff you see on my Facebook and blog is only bout 0.01% of it. It's a freaking House of Mystery! An endless labyrinth leading to weirdness after weirdness. I must have thrown out at least a hundred trash bags of junk but it's the other possessions I found that I don't mention simply because I know that no one on Earth would ever believe me. Relics I found that bear no description known to men, locked artefacts that I dare not liberate lest the secrets they hold return to lurk and plot in the shadows. They are still safely secured in the old family home and there they shall remain until I learn of the proper ways or rites to dispose of them.

I will miss my aunt just like I miss all my uncles, other aunt and mom.


imp said...

My condolences, M. You're a good man.

Cavalock said...

Thank you Imp.