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Monday, September 28, 2015

Brother

Puerh tea. That was a highlight last night. Brother poured one me one cup, small cup, after another. Rich, dark, and valuable. Katrinka had a couple but it'd keep her up so that was it. I'd never noticed the tea collection staring at us on the shelves in the corner.  It's massive and priceless. Wheels of puerh from a few inches to like a foot. Boxes, a whole shelf full of small round containers he said are now ten years old and worth a hundred bucks each. He won't sell.


We all had dinner at his house last night - his wife Nancy, the kids - Amrita is 18 or so, Sam (girl) maybe 14, boy - name name name - is 12? Katrinka and me, Wai picked up Vidya at the airport and got there late. The kids had been lighting candles outside on the tree and sidewalk. It was the Moon Festival for the princess of the moon. Big deal for Chinese. Amrita said it's one day kids can play with fire, said they used to pile leaves on the street but can't now because the air is already too smokey.

Still in KL. Staying in the house cum school. Next door Vidya's father, grandpa. I call him brother. That's what he suggested. Don't know his name but Vidya is Soon so it's Brother Soon I'm sure. Except it's not like soon I'll be home, more like so on and so on. Before dinner we sat in front of the big hi def TV and watched golf near Munich. He has golf trophies. Talked about his wife's cancer and how she's doing, doing okay now but has a cot in the living room. She's quiet. Vegetarian dinner. We eat a lot of vegetarian food with this family - organic veg restaurant in a giant mall the other night. Noodles, rice, cabbage stew, peanuts and shallots plus in a dish, apple slices, eggs in yellow sauce - ok, so they're ovo veg. Moon cakes for desert - sweet bean paste filling.

Brother told about being in India in 62, working for a Malaysian company in Calcutta. Had to work with Hindus and Muslims. They didn't work together or talk to each other. There was a border war going on with China and people would yell at him on the street and he'd say, "I'm Malaysian" or, better, "I'm Japanese." Even flying out immigration held him and his plane up for two hours grilling him. He was glad to get home.