August 24, 2009
An Unusual Collection of Jars
Fluted Jar for Pi Dan (Century Eggs)
Pi Dan Jars depicting Chinese Legends
A mini dragon jar and an unusal blue pi dan jar.
A friend of mine lives for her children and in her spare time she breeds a large number of dogs and collects Pi Dan and Salted Egg Urns or jars from China.
She told me that she used to drive up to Brunei along the old coastal and sandy road and even to Bintulu just to buy the urns whenever some one gave a tip. Sometimes she made losses because some of the preserved eggs were rotten ! But the worst incident was when the precious urn she bought was stolen and the eggs broken on the road! Her car was broken into just as she went to the washroom.
She said that the thief must have thought that she had a real antique jar in her car which was worth stealing. But then it was just a normal urn made in China which could be easily bought with a load of pi dan!!
Another jar was bought in Brunei when she was expecting her youngest son. The road was bad and it was raining heavily. She was driving alone with two kids at the back who were scared of the waves. She pushed on instead. later she met a friendly couple who stopped to chat with the children and gave her some drinks. What a wonderful incident of friendly travellers who lent a hand to help another soul! Her paleness soon disappeared and she continued to drive on to buy a jar in the shop her friend recommended. Wasn't that a crazy way to collect a pi dan jar she asked.
Now thinking back she has a smile on her face. It was many many years ago and memories fade and she can only look the jars and think of those marvellous days which were full of energy and life!
Strangely I myself never looked at those jars in those days! May be I could have started a collection too. But my priorities thirty years ago were different and again I did not have the space at home for even a small collection.
She often tells me that whenever she is a little tired her jars give her a joy she never expected. She would look at them and dust them a little and think of the good old days.
She has seen me working at my computer and told me that she never grabbed the opportunity to go to school and regretted that she never went to learn a skill either. So she asked me what I would write something about her.
I think this is a very appropriate article to write - about her and her jars.