Thursday, October 19, 2006

94th Birthday!

My father-in-law is 94 years old today.Wow!

I married Chris 16 years ago. Papa was already 78. He is more than half a century older than me. Wow! He was still working in a popular Hainanese Chicken Rice stall in Whampoa, chopping chickens from 2 pm to 9 pm daily. He would go to the stall an hour or two earlier everyday. He never idled on his job. Despite his age, he worked very hard, 6 days a week. He was paid only S$900 a month.

His employer found the best worker he could get. I used to think Papa was stupid. He didn't have any job benefits, he was underpaid, he was terribly loyal. Whenever there were a shortage of workers, he would help. He would willingly stay on to clear the crowd of customers even if it was late. If there was a huge lunchtime crowd at 12 noon, he would go when his boss called. And still work until 9 pm. He is not calculative. And he didn't get paid for overtime.

He knows I like Hainanese steamed chicken, he would sometimes buy some for me after his work. He refused to take the steamed chicken from his employer because they wouldn't charge him for it. He would buy from another rival stall.

That's Papa. A very honest & upright man. He doesn't believe in taking free things. He believes you would pay for it somehow in some ways.

Papa & Mama, together for almost 70 years of their life.

Papa was a great cook. He could cook a 10-course Chinese dinner. He even had a whole set of beautiful porcelain dining ware for 10 people. It must be antique now. Too bad the set is not complete now because I broke some of the bowls & spoons.

He cooked a great Hainanese Chicken Rice and his chilli is awesome. He was the free advisor to a few popular chicken rice stalls.

He's very generous towards others, he would spend money on them but is thrifty when it comes to himself. He's the one who taught Chris that, and I'm not happy with it. Chris is way too generous with his friends.

Papa & Mama live frugally. Everyday they must have Pork Rib soup boiled with carrots & potatoes, sometimes with beans. They must have vegetables & fish too - Mama buys small, cheap fish. They have never been to a shopping mall, a cinema, a stadium, ......They have never taken any rides on the MRT.

Papa's health is deteriorating year by year. He is still mobile but he is a little senile. He forgets easily. He still remembers us though. He's so cute, he's like a small child, he would ask Chris for money to buy things every time he sees him.

He loves his grandchildren very much. I hope he gets to see them married, well, at least the eldest grandson Richard, who is 25 now.


  1. Congratulations to the pretty couple. Wow. 94 y.o. it's not 4 all peoples, for few. So Nice, EastCoastLife. Tnx for visit my blog.

  2. It's not easy for a couple to be together for so long especially nowadays. Anyway, hope they'll be very happy everyday!

  3. Congratulations :)

    They say people in the East live much longer than the West because they eat properly and keep active.

  4. Thanks for visiting!
    I wish my husband & I could live this long but then, if we're not as healthy as them, it's going to be tough.