Let's see now, by the end of the night this is just some of the stuff nine hungry guys can eat:
- 3 crabs in bee hoon soup
- Pork collar
- Crispy pork knuckle German style
- 30 Canadian oysters
- Salted egg squid
- Large squid
- Large Hokkien prawn noodle special
- Large HK Kai Lan special
- 13 sticks of foie gras
- Phoenix chicken
- Signature meat platter
So on my way to the old family home today I noticed for the first time in my entire life, there are no more Gurkhas outside my late neighbour's residence. Instead there's just a lone chubby cop on guard duty. It kinda got me thinking about my old neighbour, not that I haven't been thinking about him for the last couple of weeks.
I guess growing up within 100 meters of his home, my memories of him may be a wee bit different from most people. My late aunts, uncles and mom made no qualms about their political leanings. Like most people their generation, they absolutely admired him and were eternally grateful for all he had done. Now you would think that I have seen him in person numerous times but the truth is I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually seen him up close or in person. Unfortunately the last time I saw him was late last year when his motorcade drove pass and I caught a glimpse of him alone in the backseat looking extremely frail. Yah, now that motorcade on the other hand, I see almost everyday when I was a kid. It would leave Oxley around noon daily and then make its way to the Istana. My most memorable moments were during National Day parades when the motorcade would zoom pass the family home and we would gather at our back kitchen doorway and wave at it. And that's the only time I can recall that he would ever wave back at us.
While I hardly had any direct interactions with him, I do however have some rather brief encounters with his sons. You have to remember that I was probably only seven or eight years-old at that time. From my bedroom window I would spot one of his sons (I honestly cannot remember which) walking towards River Valley Road to ta-pao food, this was obviously before they had bodyguards. I would then yell out at them and then duck out of sight behind the curtains immediately. It was like peek-a-boo with a VIP! Hey, I was seven and bored!
I also figured out a long time ago that I could either blame him and the Government for just about every f**ked-up thing that has happened to me in my life like how their second language criteria royally screwed me of a higher education here, or I could take it like a man, be grateful for all the other economic policies that have tremendously benefited my family and get on with my life. I do respect him and am fully aware of his achievements, contributions, faults, warts and all. When I was sitting alone on the Padang that early Thursday morning at 6am waiting for my queue to move, I was there not just for myself but also on behalf of my late mom, uncles and aunts who I know for sure would be there too if they were still alive.
So yah, that's kinda like what I wanna say bout my late neighbour. While everyone had something deep, moving or reflective to say bout him, I suppose mine was more of the lasting impression he left on me as the all-important guy living down the road.