Growing up in between
I. Wash the dishes!
Alexei Lau was born as a Hong-Kong-nese or Hongkie as the Singaporeans put it, but his parents were poor immigrants to Hong Kong from China.
As poor as they were, the whole family rented a 4-square-meter room in a big apartment in the old urban part of Hong kong. There were so many tenants in this apartment, each renting a room.
Alexei could recall there were once a group of Indian ladies who always loved to use a lot of lamb oil when cooking. And they were notorious for not washing the pots and dishes, leaving them in the sink for days until the coat of lamb oil formed a yellow crust onto the surfaces.
Alexei, a 2 year old boy back then, hated the smell of lamb. It made him nauseous. Unfortunately there was a hole at the adjacent wall of the bathroom to the kitchen, so the stench was always creeping into the bathroom, and vice versa.
One day, while Alexei was being bathed by his mother, the stench was sagging into the air again. Suddenly Alexei jumped out of the the plastic bucket (used as a bathtub) and rushed to the room of the Indian ladies, with his mother yelling from behind.
Alexei banged at the door. It was one of the Indian ladies who answered it. Behind her were six people, all staring at this naked 2-year-old with bubbles in his hair.
Alexei started mumbling and shouting at the poor lost people who had no idea what this little kid was doing. Alexei could no longer figure out what exactly he was talking about right now. The memory was too shattered and old. Yet the main gist he believed was just asking them to “wash the dishes”.
For a moment, the indian lady who opened the door was shocked, but then she started laughing, so were her guests. Hearing the laughters, time stopped for a moment for Alexei. Then the soapy water dripped into his eyes. While he was trying hard to blink away the soap, he was snatched by his mother under from the armpits, and carried back to the bathroom.
Years after, Alexei could finally laugh at that stupid outburst. Also Indian cuisines began to glow on him.
©Paulus of Sinae (Chan Po Lo Paul) April 2016
P.S. Not to my expectation, I found it is more difficult to paint the naan than the curry. If you find that strangely shaped bread confusing, just imagine it as a dough. 🙂