After a good rest yesterday, I woke up feeling rejuvenated and was eager to enjoy something light yet warm for breakfast, so I dropped by at Island Glades for breakfast before leaving for work. On my way back to my car, I saw a familiar face walking down the street. I overtook the woman to confirm my suspicion. Indeed it was my secondary school teacher Pn Yong.
I: Lao Shi. (not expecting her to remember me due to past encounters with her)
PY: Ei. Where are you going to?
I: I am going to work, I dropped by for breakfast.
PY: I see, where are you working?
I: Oh, I work in college.
PY: So what do you do there?
I: I teach.
PY: Wah, all my ex-students have become professionals, more successful than myself.
I: Not really teacher, I’m teaching in a college because I’m not qualified to teach in a school. I’m not a trained teacher.
PY: So why don’t you go and get your qualifications?
I: I can’t afford to get posted elsewhere because my purpose of staying in Penang is to be near to home.
PY: My gosh, don’t tell me you are one of those who plan to look after parents until you neglect your own future.
I: Of course not.
PY: Please don’t be like those who look after their parents until they deny themselves of family life. It is not wrong to send your parents to old folks home you know. We all love our parents but sometimes we just have to move on with life. I had to do the same to my mother and I sent her to the old folks home because we were all working and there was no one to look after her. My mom was in coma and the doctor said that her heart was strong and had a long time to live. So we sent her to the home for the aged. She died after being there for three days, if I knew that would happen, I would have taken time off from work to spend those days with her. But we can never predict the future and we never know when will one’s life end, so it’s best to plan for long term. I can accept it if my children ever decide to send me to an old folks home as long as it’s a good one and does not abuse me. I just can’t expect them to care for me the way our mothers used to care for their elders anymore.
I: Yes you are right but I think for now, my parents are fine at home for there’s someone at home to look after them while I’m at work.
PY: Oh ic, but please do get married.
I: Well, I do have social life, I work, I go out with friends and I do have a boyfriend.
PY: Oh, that’s good, go on and get married, you are not that young anymore. I’m sure you are due for that.
I: We shall see. Ok, lao shi, this is my car, I talk to you another time?
PY: Sure, you take care ya.
(Pn Yong I’m sure cannot recall who I am. She has retired for more than 15years and has been unable to remember any of us. I’ve met her a few times and I noticed that she was unable to recall many things. Well, I can’t blame her for that. I was glad to have met her this morning. It was pleasant talking to her. I would never expect her to say the things that she told me but I know she was sincere in her opinion. I felt as if I was speaking to my Aunty Thai Moi who was always frank yet concern about my future)