Jillian R.
The world was rumored to end yesterday. Today I am still here, still blogging.

Therefore, instead of my usual rants, let me share with you one of my nostalgia-driven stories. A story which will probably change your perception about me being one who complains about everything, to “the real me”; who really is a small town girl, and who loves her mommy.

Strange as it is, I don’t really remember much about my teen years (13 – 17), those four years kind of floated by me, I remember watching lots of TV while eating bags of chips (and never gaining weight) and wished that I would someday marry a Val Kilmer or Dean Cain look-alike. When I met my husband, everything fell into place; but that’s another story. While those years are a blur, I have a pretty clear memory of my life as a child of 3 (and up, or course).

Those days, dad would be away working in the family plantation (granddad owned oil palm and fruit plantations back in the day) so I would spend the entire day with mom. She would either be sewing something for me on our old foot-operated sewing machine, crocheting (again, always something for me) or reading nursery rhymed to me. I’m sure she did other things too, but as a child, those other things didn’t matter to me.

(At age 5; wearing one of mom's crochets)

Anyway, one of my earliest memories is how much I loved to read. I could read simple nursery rhymes when I was about 5; I remember as this was when I attended kindergarten and I could read. Once every couple of weeks, mom would take me to the Times Bookstore in Penang Plaza; which back then was known as FIMA (it was owned by FIMA Supermarket). The place had never been “hip”, it was the kind of place where expensive clothing boutiques were there to boost the rich housewife’s ego. Mom didn’t care for it, and me, I just wanted to go and browse the children’s books. I remember doing everything I was told, or else mom would tell me that the trip was cancelled. Yeah, we’re Chinese. Chinese parents like to threaten.

I can’t remember how many times I was threatened that if I misbehaved I would be given away to the bottle collector when he came every other week, dad said he could put me in his (the bottle collector) bicycle basket and take me with him. Or I would be sold to Chettiar merchants and I would be taken away to be a slave on their ship(s). I must say I was most afraid of the Chettiar threat, so I’d stop whatever “mischief” I was doing even if it was only not finishing my lunch (I’d finish every bite).

Anyway, sorry I got so carried away. I would enjoy afternoons with mom in that bookstore, which was really just a mom-and-pop kind of store, it is still there today, some big bookstore chain took over and it will never be the same. Sometimes dad would come along and I remember not liking that, because my dad has no patience you see, he would come in for 10 minutes and complained that he wanted to go home and take a nap…or something like that.

So mom, thank you for all the times you took me to bookstores and read to me before I could. That was probably the best gift one could give a young child; the gift of Knowledge. 

My love for reading has been planted at a young age and I am now reaping the plentiful fruits that come with it!
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2 Responses
  1. jamie writes Says:

    That's so sweet :D
    I grew up pretty much independently... but i love my parents to bits :)

  2. jamie writes Says:

    have you seen the newly renovated Penang Plaza (FIMA)? :P

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