Friday, May 19, 2017

two loaves of bread,

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  Two elderly women didn't have enough money to pay for two loaves of bread. I paid for them and rush to give the loaves of the bread to them. It didn't cost me a lot, but gave an anecdote to write about.

My Ah Kung and Ah Ma would be happy.
People ask me where I get ideas for my writing, this is one example.

Grandma's slave


There is on internet a story on "My family's slave" by an Filipino American.

Here's an abstract of my grandma's slave from my book, From China to Borneo to Beyond.

The pronunciation of my Quang Ning dialect MUI ZUI, for a slave sounds like the sour plum, and MUI ZAI as a girl is different. I don't know what it is in other dialects.

It must have been 1900s when my grandmother brought her over to be her slave. The girl was very young. It is not sure if her parents gave her the slave while she was a young child, or whether she was given when Grandma married Grandpa.

My father, John remembered fondly of Grandmother’s mui zai (slave) whom he called Ah Jia, (big sister.) In fact he saw her more than he saw Grandmother. Grandmother worked in the rubber garden, the mui zai took care of him and his siblings. She did all the housework. His fondest memory was her  kindly separated the rough green husk of the sweet mung bean soup, so he would have it as a smooth watery thick soup. We used to tease him to be a super spiolt brat because we ate the green bean husk.

There was talk that the British government in Malaya and Singapore was going to pass an emancipation of slaves, and those not releasing the slaves would be punished.

To preempt this, when this mui zai was 16, a marriageable age, Grandfather Kee Seng arranged for a suitable mate and married her off. This was much to the aghast of Grandmother. Grandmother whinged that this mui zai was paid for by her parents; therefore she was her property. This mui zai was her slave for life. Grandfather Chan had no right to sell her property. But Grandfather would not have any part of this old feudal slavery system. They married her off to someone up the Rejang River.

The emancipation law was never passed and Grandfather never heard the end of Grandmother harping on and on about it.

Some of those mui zais maintained a good relationship, coming back to the family as though they were part of the family. In many cases where they had suffered abuse from their owner and hated them; they never came back to visit.  Some, their new family forbidden them to. Grandmother’s mui zai never came back. Father said Grandma was a difficult person  to handle. The Mui Zai was probably so glad to have her freedom.

Father did meet the mui zai many years later. Father was on official duty in a school near where she was married off to. She came and was hesitant and afraid to talk to Father, now an official of the government. She called him "Young Master" and she wanted Father to help her grand children to get into teachers’ college. She said quietly that it wasn’t that she didn’t want to visit the Chans, it was because she was not allowed to. She had been emancipated from one family into the slavery of another. She mentioned what a good family she had grown up in, and she would rather be old and single and be a mui zai in the Chan’s home. She had always loved Father very much.

I wrote about my grandma's Mui Zai in my book. I also remembered my mum almost got a Mui Zai too. It was after the World War Two. My great Grand Mother aka Ah Tai didn't want my mother to work too hard. So she bought a girl slightly older than my oldest sister. My father declined and packed the girl away. My father's rationale was in this day and age, him being a Christian should not have a Mui Zai aka slave. How could he have the conscience of having a Mui Zai who slaves away while his own daughters went to school. Ah Tai aka Great Grand Mother argued we we just pay for her in the beginning which she had already done, and don't have to pay her anymore. Mother said we just had to feed her. Ah Tai probably argued that we were doing a humanitarian favour. 

We knew about this returned Mui Zai when we had to do house work. We complained and wished we still had the Mui Zai.


My parents had 6 girls, MOI ZAI SEE (bloody useless girls) as my Bodai (maternal grandma) would call us. She said, if we were in China, I would be sold off as a slave. I was the third girl. So would all subsequent girls.

When Father paid for my University education first to Canada and then to New Zealand, Bodai said my fate was very good. Instead of being a slave, I got to fly half way round the world.  Bodai said there was something wrong with Dad's head. He studied too much in England. He educated all his MOI ZAI ZEE. She also said my Dad had a Father-in-law look.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dr Henry Chan Chok Khuang

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158633257960541&set=a.10150550979000541.652232.744380540&type=3&theater

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The people's school


The peoples' school.

Peoples'/Citizen school, Koong Ming/Citizen School is connected to the Chans and the Kongs. My grandfathers on both sides raised money to build the school. They served in the school board. My cousin Kong Chek King is the secretary of the Board of Management.
In 2013, we went to visit the school, and the principal explained the financial situation of the school. Last year, I read a write-up about him attending funerals to raise fund for the school.
THE headmaster of Citizen Secondary School of REjang River has passed away last Friday 75yrs old Hii Sui Chung
He worked as a headmaster n gardener ĺn general worker every day without pay really very great







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http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/10/25/raising-funds-from-the-dead-a-headmaster-works-tirelessly-to-get-money-to-ensure-his-school-stays-af/

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Malayan cherry tree

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Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor
Jamaican Cherry Tree/ Malayan Cherry Tree/
Muntingia calabura
Jamaican/Japanese Cherry, Buah Ceri/Kerukup Siam(Malay)


This is a tree of my youth, it evokes a lot of emotions. some of us remember it with LOL now, some with anger, and some block it.



The Cherry Tree is named for its sweet sticky fruits, juicy and full of tiny seeds. They are a favourite with birds and bats, which disperse the seeds, and children too! The leaves are covered with tiny sticky hairs. 

When I was in Junior primary school, we lived in Padang Road where it was government quarters for civil servants. In the garden where mum and dad kept ducks and chicken, there were two saplings that we were told to be cherry trees. There were tiny fruits which were sweet with a hint of tart. Father told us not to climb the trees.

But we didn't listen. The bigger fruits were up on top, and there were sparse ones at the bottom. We climbed, timing it that we climbed down before Dad came home.

That fateful day, Dad drove home while we were still up the tree. Without a word, he took the axe and chopped down the tree. We looked out of the window feeling so ashamed. 

It seemed the whole neighbourhood's aunties and uncles were there finger pointing at us, probably discussing what naughty children we were to invoke the anger of Dad and provoked him to chop the tree down. The children were torturing us showing the big cherry.

I was still angry because it was such an embarrassment.  About ten years ago, we kids talked about it. I expressed my hurt arguing why did Dad plant the tree knowing children being children will climb the tree to get the fruits. Rose, the oldest sister said, Dad didn't plant the tree, a bird had planted it. Elizabeth said, it was better for the trees to be chopped down, then for us to fall and break a leg, and worst still, for us to land on our head with fatal consequences.

Recently, on internet, a school allowed students to climb trees until a student fell and died. That was the end of tree climbing in that school. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)

April 11, 2017 AngeliaJGriffin (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)

“I’m not saying it’s pretty, but the only one who actually broke a law was the passenger.

The pilot's wife wrote because she knew about the laws, of aviation. She can stuff her knowledge and stop being condescending. Instead of pouring oil on troubled waters, she writes it is all the passenger's fault. If it is, why are millions of people wrong, and why did the CEO eventually apologizing.

The Chinese have a saying, if you don't open your mouth, no body will know you are stupid.

Finally, it doesn't matter that Dr Dao is a Vietnamese or a Chinese. For all I can conjecture, he could be an ethnic Chinese, just like me, an ethnic Chinese born outside China.

I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)


I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)


If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that there are always two sides to every story.
On April 9th, a very unfortunate incident played out on United Flight 3411, the video of which has since gone viral causing a mass social media uprising with an ‘off-with-their-heads’ mentality. I mean, across the board. Fire ’em all and let the gods sort it out later.
Look, I get it. When I first saw the video I was appalled too. To say that it was inflammatory would be putting it mildly. But it was also a situation that was escalated far beyond the boundaries of necessity.
If a federal law enforcement officer asks me to exit a plane, no matter how royally pissed off I am, I’m going to do it and then seek other means of legal reimbursement. True story.
Knowing what I know about airport security, I’m certainly not going to run back into a secured, federally restricted area at an airport flailing my arms and screaming like a banshee…because, you know, that just happens to be breaking a major federal Homeland Security law.
But that’s just me. Obviously.
The moment I made that particular ill-advised choice, I would become an immediate and imminent threat to the aircraft’s security. That’s kind of a big deal. I mean, come on, I once actually had to remove my infant son’s socks because they mimicked little baby sneakers. These guys mean business.
I didn’t like it. I thought it was just plain stupid, honestly. But instead of pitching a massive fit, refusing to comply, and bolting through the TSA checkpoint like an out-of-control toddler, I did the big girl thing–sucked it up, removed the offensive socks, and went on with my happy life, sans being tackled and dragged through the airport in handcuffs by a bunch of big men with guns.
Because if you choose to take advantage of the services the airport provides, you play by their rules.
I know you’re all out there screaming that the ‘rules’ are unfair, but I am a pilot wife. I remember 9/11. Do you? I want my husband, the father of my children, to come home. I want you to get homeThat law exists to protect my husband. And your wife. And your grandmother. And your child. And you. I, for one, am glad for the law.
I’m not here to dispute the facts of 3411 with you. I am not interested in getting into an argument of opinion with anyone. We’re all entitled to our own. I’m not arguing that what happened wasn’t completely terrible–it was, on multiple levels. But I am suggesting that the general public take another look at the situation, ask a few more questions, gather a few more facts, and then create a less hostile and more intellectually wrought opinion about what happened.
Because the media is giving you just enough information to keep you enraged–enough to keep their ratings up.
Things to consider:
1) “You can’t just kick a paying customer off the plane!” Psssst! It’s in the fine print. They can, indeed, do just that. And it’s not an airline specific rule, it’s a commercial aviation rule. Every ticket you purchase comes with a plethora of fine print–you know, the stuff we just click ‘next’ on without actually reading what we are agreeing to. Yeah, that. Well, it’s in there, and you checked the ‘I agree’ box when you purchased your ticket. You can read about it and oh-so-much-more here. Kind of makes you want to read all those tiny words on your next phone update before you click ‘I agree’, huh? You should. United did not break any law, and he agreed to the policy and possibility of involuntary bump when he bought his ticket. And so do you.
2) “Kicking a paying customer off an airplane!? I’m taking my business to Southwest!” Ummmm, okay. But just be sure you understand that every major airline, Southwest included, has a similar policy for involuntary bumping in a ‘must ride’ scenario. Don’t believe me? It’s called the contract of carriage. If you’re really bored, you can read Southwest’s here. Or Delta’s here. Believe me, it’s in there.  This could have been any airline. In fact, it happens all the time. Most people just don’t wrestle the feds in the aisle.
3: “So what’s this ‘must ride’ nonsense anyway? They shouldn’t bump a paying customer for a free employee ride!” I’m afraid you’re going to have to take this up with the federal government, not United. And it’s actually pretty important to you as an airline traveler anyway. They were not ‘freeloading home’. That’s called non-rev and they have to wait in line behind your checkbook and often don’t make it home to their families if flights are booked (believe me, I know). No, this was a must fly, a positive space situation. In layman terms, it means that a crew must be flown to an airport to man a flight in order to avoid cancellation of said flight due to crew unavailability. This is a federal DOT regulation, not an airline one. The airlines are required to do so to avoid disruption of air traffic. In other words, if there are no willing volunteers and they need seats to get a crew somewhere to avoid disruption of aviation flow, they can, will, must by federal regulation bump people for the better good of the 1000’s. Why? Because one cancelled flight has a serious domino affect in the delicate, complicated world of connections and aviation law.
4: “It’s the airline’s fault for not planning better!” You obviously have no clue about the complexities of aviation travel and should do some research. There are about a million and one things that can cause a crew shortage including but not limited to weather, maintenance, weather, connecting fight delays, weather, FAA timeout regs, and did I mention weather? I wish I could control Mother Nature because I would be one filthy rich person. But I can’t. And neither can United. So they inconvenience one, or four, to keep hundreds on track. Do the math. And of course, if we were on the other end of this thing, we’d be tirading and blowing up the internet because United didn’t bump a passenger to make sure our flight didn’t get cancelled and left hundreds stranded. Damned if you do; damned if you don’t. We’re a fickle crowd, we social media folks.
5: They shouldn’t have picked the minority Chinese doctor! It’s racist.” That’s just silly. Though federal regulation demands they involuntarily bump to prevent interruption of flights when necessary, each airline does have the leniency to determine how they choose the bumped passengers. They did not play spin the bottle or walk down the aisle looking for the Asian guy. Use your heads, people! There is a computerized algorithm that takes into account price of ticket, how long ago it was purchased, whether or not they can get the passenger to their destination in a timely manner, etc. It wasn’t an ‘Asian thing.’ Stop, people. Just stop.
6: “United should go under for assaulting that passenger! Fire the entire crew!” Read the facts. United neeeever touched the passenger. In fact, by all witness accounts, the United flight crew remained calm and pleasant throughout the entire event, never laying hands on the passenger. They followed protocol as required by law. Once law enforcement became involved (also as required by federal protocol), United stepped out of the decision-making process. They had nothing to do with the rest. The passenger was forcibly removed by federal aviation security (the disturbing clip that everyone is talking about) after running back into the secured area after being escorted out once. Once he did that, like it or not, they (law enforcement) were under full discretion of the law to apply necessary force to remove the threat. I’m not saying it’s pretty, but the only one who actually broke a law was the passenger. There’s a reason for these laws–it’s called 9/11. We can’t have it both ways. But by all means, let’s berate and punish an entire flight crew–in fact thousands of pilots, FA’s, gate attendents, ground crew, etc.–because it makes us all feel a little better.
7: “You piece of **it!” I get that the passengers were upset, angry, maybe even confused. I get that you are too. After all, media is tossing you out chunks of bloody meat like you’re a pack of starving wolves. But I’m seriously disgusted that the poor must ride crew that had to take those seats after the unfortunate mess that unraveled were verbally abused and threatened. Can you imagine the very uncomfortable position they were in? Then they were demeaned, belittled, threatened. Along with many others all over the internet and airports today. They were and are men and women doing their jobs to feed their families. Just. Like. You.  They didn’t have a choice. They didn’t ask for this. They didn’t assault anyone. They are not a corporation; they are individuals who need a job. They are my friends and maybe even my husband. There’s a very fine line between what you despise and becoming what you despise. Many of the comments and actions I have seen perpetrated against United employees cross it. Don’t become what you hate.
Like I said, I know you’re mad at United, but there’s much more to the story than hits the media fan.
I truly hope that this gives you something to chew on and gives you a smidgen more insight into the complexities of aviation. I’m not making excuses. I think there were bad decisions made on both sides. However, I am saying there are always two sides to every story. Make sure you consider them both.
Tailwinds.
***A correction to the previous article. Mr. Dao was indeed Vietmanese and not Chinese.  That quote was verbatim from a comment off the internet. I apology profusely for the confusion.
Angelia (A Pilot Wife)
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Monday, April 10, 2017

asian-doctor-randomly-assaulted-removed-united-flight/

http://nextshark.com/asian-doctor-randomly-assaulted-removed-united-flight/

That’s when a manager came aboard the plane and announced that a computer would pick four passengers to be booted off.
One couple was chosen first and left the airplane, according to Bridges, before the man in the video was confronted.
He claimed to be a doctor who had appointments to see patients at a hospital the following morning.
Three security officials were called in to deal with the man after he refused to give up his seat, with one officer reportedly throwing him against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane