Precious times

Each year, the family holiday is supposed to be an investment, to gather the four of us together, to the same place, to common activities, in a situation where we're less likely to (but we still do) argue, and deepen our family ties. Thanks mum and dad, it's a wise investment.

Many holidays, we head to the town of my birth. The smog ridden city, where non smokers can have COPD from just breathing the city air, a city with food and shopping as expensive as M, but cheaper taxis, prettier neon lights, colder winters. I don't fancy the place, but that is where family is, and that's where I want to be. Because even the most beautiful seaside scenery, the most amazing mist covered mountain, the most interesting old stone buildings, the most delicious meal - well, it starts to become indistinguishable in my mind.

Not too many years back, I was often frustrated with not being able to see what I wanted to see, do what I wanted to do, because of the annoying little sister who the holiday schedule revolved around, and the control freak dad who always had to be the one to decide what we ate for each meal.

But more and more, just being with family is so much more important than eating good food, travelling, exploring (although I enjoy each of these things). Anything goes now, I'm content to travel with parents to wherever they want to go, not at all bored to be home with elderly grandparents for days and weeks, and happy to accompany my sister to play children's games, go to places where kids like to go to. Do we all need years of distance to realise that time together is precious?

Highlights!

1. Sitting with my grandparents after dinner in the lounge, munching on 瓜子 and half watching TV. Asking about thei travels, listening to stories of other family members, of how their most unusual marriage with an age difference of more than twenty years came about, about quirky old neighbours. Then having an early night every night because living with elderly people, you can't help but adopt their habits.

2. Teasing my cousins about girls. Chatting with my younger cousin til late, talking about school, relationships, family, about God. Listening to a sincere prayer, without frills, without the conventions and "standard" language we all invariably adopt after years of learning, is refreshing. And kid, for someone who's never lived overseas, your English is amazing.

3. Being silly with C. Brains. The zombies are coming, noooooo! It's not a peashooter, it's pea-ple! Teaching her 听不懂 because every adult invariably stops and asks, 听得懂吗?Laughing at her half joking and half puzzled expression as she points to a lovely little girl with perfectly dark and straight hair, commenting "why is her hair so neat, and mine so messy?" Hand claps, tic tac toe give me a high give me a low. Thumb war. Sumo wrestling. Cheater cheater pumpkin eater. I'm a rat I'm a rat I'm a furry furry rat with a looooong tail and looooong whiskers, and teeny greedy eyes, and two big yellow teeth, and I like to eat cheese and rotten eggs. Giggle giggle. Practice makes perfect! You have the funniest facial expressions, you're caring enough to be my older sister, you're affectionate to everyone and you're the most adorable little sister (I'm not little, I'm a middle sized kid) in the world.

2 comments:

enlightened0ne said...

Aww, that's really sweet! You're an amazing sister... C. is very lucky!

Winnie said...

aww thanks! she's amazing too ;)

 

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