Tag Archives: family

Mama And Papa Chy-Latte

My parents (middle) in the ’80s.

I don’t visit home often, mostly because I don’t own a car and my parents live out in the middle of nowhere (nb. suburbia to me is nowhere) and it’s about 90-120 minutes in transit by public transport. I wish I did it more frequently though because it always reminds me of how much I miss them and I wish I didn’t have to feel like I missed them.

My parents and I don’t have a classic nuclear child-parent relationship where we talk every day about our lives, our work, our friends or our family. Nevertheless, it’s very much a mutual understanding of love and security being in each others’ presence and knowing that we’re eating well, working hard and generally happy. I obviously know that my mum cares about me when she asks me: “Do you want to eat some chicken feet and tripe? You used to love it but now you say it’s ‘yuck’. How about this potato? Do you want this potato?” And later, “I’ve got a bag of frozen dim sims, a bag of chocolate, fifty billion packets of chips and oh, this quilt. Are you warm? Do you want this quilt? Take the quilt.” (She says this all to me in a mixture of Khmer and English because she still thinks that I can’t understand her). I also know she cares when she incessantly asks me to stay the night and offers to drive me back to Fitzroy in the morning. Sometimes the guilt-trip is so bad I consider for a miniscule of a second about moving back home but immediately remember how bad of an idea that would be.

While I was home I raided my mum’s vast collection of family photos. Not just of us, but of my countless aunts and uncles and cousins. The photo above is of my parents in the 80s, and I wonder where it was taken (I believe that is my cousin Mxnxcx there, who funnily enough, is just about to give birth to her own little baby). They’re so young and fresh-faced and I forget how pretty my mum was, and is. It wouldn’t have been long ago that they were in Cambodia, fleeing a country plagued by war and death. I wonder what they were like there, in their early 20s, how hard and scary it would have been leaving a home and coming to a new, strange Western world. I get pangs in my chest thinking about it sometimes because I could never conceive those feelings. And again knowing they’ve paved their own lives here and given me so many opportunities to live a fulfilled life of my own.

At my cousin Sxxn’s 40th, looking around and talking to my family members, I toyed around again with the idea of interviewing everyone and writing down our family history (or even as a video documentary). Our family has no records. They’re all destroyed or missing, lost forever. Could you imagine what my family tree would look like? For a large family like ours, there are so many amazing stories from Cambodia, tales of survival and love and family and death and sacrifice. It would be a shame to lose that part of our history; I think knowing where you come from is a luxury many people take for granted.

It sounds like a wonderful idea, I know, but it’s also a massive project that would require a lot of time, commitment, effort and participation which I don’t think I’m quite ready for right now. It would be nice to do before I’m 30 though.

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kennychailatte In 160 Characters Or Less

I’m going to compile a list of things that have occurred to me in the past couple of weeks in 160 characters or less (a standard text).

kennychailatte in 160 characters or less, on:

#fulltimework: Avoid if possible, unless you find something you truly love. Pass time by spreading office rumors about your co-workers by the water cooler.

#parttimework: Minimum of 10 hours isn’t too bad. Secretly hoping for a ‘Night At The Museum’ scenario.

#interning: Getting published fills you with a false sense of validation when you realise you’re not getting paid. Good work experience though.

#volunteering: Help your goddamn self! It’s not that hard.

#money: Good when you’ve got it, bad when you don’t, ugly when you’re bent over selling yourself because you want another pair of suede shoes.

#Sydney: Lovely weather. Palm trees. Surprising amount of people running and exercising in the city during the day. Don’t they have jobs?

#laundry: If your whites turn pink because of a pair of red shorts, bleach it, pronto!

#studying: Get an office. Although be warned, you will probably use it for sleeping, sex, Youtube videos and entertaining your friends during fake “consultation hours”.

#publictransport: Expensive. Unreliable. Usually smells like body odour and urine. Avoid eye contact with people foaming at the mouth.

#davidsedaris: Read ‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk’. Brilliant. Laugh-out-loud-on-the-train-like-a-crazy-person funny.

#onlineshopping: Stay away from this. Having a card that links straight to your bank account is like asking to get raped.

#relationships: Don’t date or sleep with somebody who has a partner. Threesomes are fun, but somebody will probably end up getting hurt.

#technology: iPad 2. Want.

#family: Adding subtle amounts of vodka to your soft-drink at family functions is a great idea.

#friends: Even though you don’t see them as much as you’d like, you know that when you call, they’ll answer. And everything will be okay.

#travel: Cambodge, Cambodge, Cambodge!

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