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Sunday, October 21, 2012

ABC Wed: Letter O for Old.


 Francis, this is your old cane cosy for the tea pot.
 When my late paternal Grandma left China for Borneo almost ninety years ago, she brought two things. A marble coffee-shop style marble table and a Chinese tea pot with a paper mache cosy. She also brought a slave slave, given to her by her parents to serve her in any way she liked. This slave girl aka as MUI ZAI was in an era when the old paternalistic Chinese society when males were superior to the useless girl.

Grandma returned to China before the World War two .

Grandpa always had his tea pot filled with black Chinese tea. It was kept warm by the paper mache cosy. Grandpa married a second wife, so these items went to her.

That pot was very valuable as an antique. When Grandpa was still alive, an antique dealer came round to houses of old people to scour for old things. He offered a good price for the tea pot, and the paper mache cosy. The latter, the antique dealer had never seen. Grandpa refused to sell, no matter how good the offer was.

He told us, it was the only family heirloom that was worth anything. We teased him that he was an old romantic who could not give up the tea pot because it held so much memories for his old flame, my late grandma.

My second grandma is still alive and just turn 100. As for the tea pot, she doesn't use it any more. No, it is too precious to use, just in case someone, like clumsy me, break it. She will talk about it though.

This photo is an exact replica of Grandma's old tea pot. 
 This is Francis Chen, my friend from Kai Chung school. He likes to collect old things. He showed me the tea cosy. Only he didn't know what it was. It was exactly like the cosy I knew except it is well kept, in better condition than my grandma's. Thanks Francis for your hospitality.

 These two busts are Deng and Kong, the pioneers of my ancestors who came to Sarawak more than 100 years ago. My old friends from the university of Windsor in Canada took me there. I chuckled to myself. It takes a Hing Hua person to take me back to my Cantonese/Hakka roots. Thanks Peter Ning and Vanny.
 In my friend Diana's Chin's well maintained 60 years old Sia Villa, I see a lamp I knew when I was young and visiting my grand parents. It is an old kerosene pressure lamp.
 Along the road towards Sibu, my friends tell me that this old abandoned house was once upon a time the most beautiful house in Binatang/ Binatangnor. Even Binatang is an old name.
 These belongs to an old culture. I will tell you if you ask.
 A miner's lamp in the longhouse.
Are these bar bells? No, they are axles of an old train.



6 comments:

Ann said...

"Prof Madya Dr Margaret Chan Kit Yok"
if we revisit Ah Kung upper Lanang Road house, as you enter, the rattan teapot warmer is on the table located at the right side of the big lounge cum dining room. Just realised there were no sofa at all. Only the marble top round table against the middle of the wall facing the main door. On the right corner were the dining table and the long benches. We used to play a game and raced to see who can touch the legs of the marble table.

In Kung Dai's place, also got big room with furmishing like Ah Kung, except there was a row of theatre chairs on the left hand side of the wall adjacent to the small grocery shop.

diane b said...

You certainly have an interesting family history.

Roger Owen Green said...

packed a lot of history into this post!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Thank you for giving us a look at your family history.
It is fascinating.
I'm glad your Grandfather didn't sell the cosy. It is a valuable heirloom.

Emille said...

Do you know why your grandmother went to Borneo? Wasn't the latter island far behind China's culture at that time?

Chubskulit Rose said...

The old iron reminds me of my grandmother.

Overjoyed
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team