Not to mention an octogenarian granny with a potty mouth :P
Whereas the coffeeshop in the front is a free-for-all amongst my numerous squabbling relatives, no one doubts that the cavernous kitchen is my indomitable grandmother's domain - and surprisingly, usually the place where people gather around to share and compare notes, catch up on what's happening - and generally gossip. Yes, my family's pretty well known for that in these parts, and we even have a somewhat regular email newsletter that gets passed around.
In between juggling her various dishes being steamed, stir-fried and baked ( three stoves and two ovens from last count ) and also listening to the numerous complaints brought to her supposedly hard-of-hearing ears, my unconventional grandmother still manages to find the time to grill me about my unmarried status ( if I don't manage to deflect her attention to the other singleton cousins ).
Minus the pseudo-Yoda accent of course.
Grandmother : And what do you bring me?
Paul : See! Magical flower tea! Am I your favourite grandson or what?
Grandmother : Hmph. And where is the wife?
Paul : Suffocated in the luggage during transit from Hanoi.
Grandmother : Cheeky grandson. How did that happen?
Paul : Genetic inheritance possibly.
Yeah, I do bring her something odd every once in a while since I do enjoy the occasional curio-hunting. Not sure what she did with the insanely ticking Mao Tse Tung clock I bought her last year.
Although we do converse in an odd patois of English / Hokkien, occasionally she mumbles incoherently in native Fuzhou ( oddly enough, a mysterious dialect that sounds like a mixture of plain babble and Neanderthal grunts ) in reply to my questions - since she knows that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of the dialect, understanding only a few passing phrases and cant-terms.
See. I have a boyfriend!
Half the time I feel like shocking her by revealing a hunky boyfriend in tow but I'm not sure if she'll get a devastating heart attack - or give me a heart attack in return by becoming a zealous PFLAG activist. Never can tell with these wacky old ladies. :)
Of course she also knows how to keep me happy for Chinese New Year.
Grandmother : Money's upstairs in my cupboard. Go pack the angpows. The relatives are coming.
Mwahahahahaha! A Happy Chinese New Year to all!
Hope I got that right! No worries, Charming Calvin will tell if I'm mumbling garbled rubbish.