2 February, 2010 : My Beloved Yehyeh


Here is one of my favorite pictures in the world. My granddad hugging us, I don't remember where it was taken but it looks like I was maybe 5 and my brother was 4. I think we were back from the US and may have gone to live with them in Penang? I can't believe my brother and I are wearing proper shoes and socks!

My granddad looks so young. He must have been around 58 years old. If my brother gets his genetic material he may escape baldness yet! I do have a few memories of him at that age... he drove us in his Austin Morris (always black and strangely painted a new coat of black every year). Taking us for walks at the Penang reservoir, picking us red Angsana seeds (which I take my sons to pick these days). Stopping the roti man so we can get a snack. Stopping our fights to show us the weed that closes when touched.

Once I asked him for a picture in my notebook and he did a chicken sketch, I asked him for another and he did another one, I remember the lines very clearly. I can still see his Penang house in Ayer Hitam, where he painted and where he played mahjong with his friends.

He used to also take us to buy corn on cob on Gurney Drive and ice cream at cold storage. Once my brother annoyed him with his loud voice and yehyeh did not yell at my brother but instead said, "AIYAYAYAYAAAA". Wonder if that's a Shanghainese phrase?