Wednesday, July 06, 2011

She Spoke Words of Wisdom 
Some people think that we have to go on epic globe trotting journeys to uncover the unfathomable mysteries of life. Some people think only a 3 year long holy mountain pilgrimage will reveal the secrets of being alive. And then there are the lovely Douglas Adams fanatics who believe that they already know the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

3 year long holy pilgrimages up unpronounceable mountains in South East Asia might well provide the deep insight we all inherently search for. I don't even deny it- in fact, it sounds like a promising adventure for me. Perhaps I will finally find an answer to why I waste my time in the day and then stay up panicking and studying for tomorrow's exam. (Like thus).

The reason why I am thinking about wisdom is because of my darling Aunty Yeni. She's been with our family since I was 10- that's 8 years ago. She saw me up through my angst ridden pre-pubescent years into my current self actualized state of being. What she has done for our family is obviously well above the job scope of an average maid- she juggles being a a cook, a counselor, a cleaner, a nanny, a Markie-watchdog, a chauffeur (kinda), a masseuse, a personal shopper, a collector of old newspapers, a Missus Fix-it, a finder-of-lost-things, a control to my Gonggong's stubbornness, a friend, and a source of never ceasing comfort.

Our family adores her- and we absolutely cannot do without her. We resemble a rabble of lost sheep without her belligerent directions, explanations and guidance. My brother closes out his Youtube window instead of just minimizing it when she roars "I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, MARCUS". And when she bellows "I'M COMING TO CHECK" he actually switches off his computer, which is more than my feeble threats and my Gongong's nagging can do.

My sister depends on my Aunty Yeni for everything- including making her bed, finding her lost items ("Aunty YEEEEENI I can't find my library books!"), cooking, and basically most of her daily requirements.

My Gongong needs Aunty Yeni because she can talk to him for hours on end, guffawing at his jokes, howling "MY DARLING GONG GONG" when after they argue about one of their random marketing issues. And even if he won't ever admit it, I bet he'll miss her the most of all of us when she leaves for Indonesia two years later. She's his constant 4-D buying, marketing, news watching, massaging, hawker center buddy. She relieves his loneliness- the loneliness of growing old without my Mama.

My parents love Aunty Yeni too- she gives my mother the best massages, makes her her favorite mee siam every Friday, and when she has cravings for porridge on Saturdays, Aunty Yeni never fails to whip up a steaming pot for the whole family. My Aunty Yeni calls my mother "my mommy" even though they are almost the same age, and my mom refuses to let her go home, desperately lengthening her contract for as long as it can go.

Aunty Yeni appreciates my daddy's photographic/biking enthusiasm, and keeps his expensive equipment in shining, tip-top shape, all the time. She even tells her friends to shop at Coldwear to boost business for my dad's company.

No one could adore Aunty Yeni and her quirkiness more than me. She provides a blurry comfort in the morning as she gives me morning massages that shock me out of bed when I miss my alarm clock. She is a continuous source of love, adoration, food, advice, and comfort. She rather knows inherently when I'm in an awful mood, and cooks my favorite yi-mee, or creeps up behind me with a cup of milo to cheer me up. And it is in this simplicity that I find the most profound wisdom stems.

Today she was talking about her hateful husband, who allegedly waited for her for 8 years to get hitched. When Aunty Yeni offered him a huge sum of her savings to start a business, he splurged it all away and didn't return a scrap, nor bother to apologize for spending half her life-savings. Aunty Yeni is surprising calm about all this, though. She's got a beautifully optimistic outlook on life.

"I've got my Gonggong, I've got my mam, and my sir, and my 3 children. God has blessed me. I am happy."


This from the woman who grew up dirt poor, slogging away to upkeep her family back in Indonesia. This from the woman whose incompetent husband took her precious savings of 20 years working as a maid in Singapore to set up a doomed business and then splurged the money away.

This is wisdom.
If I could swear, I would swear it's wisdom. Since I cannot, I believe, very strongly, that it is wisdom.

Then she taught me somethings about life that I've always knew, but not really known, like how most things that strike us are things we sort-of-knew presented in a clearer way. My Gonggong had presented a picture of her going back to Indonesia and being courted by handsome men.

"You can't eat a handsome man." she observed. "You can't lick him when you're hungry. Only very salty."

I had laughed so hard the noodles I was eating nearly slithered out of my nose. Ick.

"Why you laugh? It's true. You cannot eat the handsome man. No matter how hungry your stomach, no matter how little money, you only can lick the handsome man. No use."

Then she went on to share with me that

"Love is from your little deepest deepest heart. When you love the man, make sure he love you very very much, otherwise your little heart will break because man is not good sometimes."


She basically taught me the very principals of life and it's simplicity, how to guard your heart for the right man, and to look beneath the appearances. All in her very own way.


Wisdom can come from anywhere, as long as we are listening.



She spoke words that would melt in your hand
She spoke words of wisdom
In the basement 
Many surprises await you
- Two Door Cinema Club. Undercover Martyn.

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