June 10, 2015

Sibu Tales : White Wash

White Wash - family wooden house in  Kung Ping Road Sibu. My father inherited the house from my grandfather who moved to a better house in Sungei Merah. And we moved over from Pulau Kerto just in time for me to start Primary School at the Methodist Primary School Sibu.

As a child I was not too happy staying in a wooden house while many of my friends lived in concrete houses until my ngie mah taught me a lesson or two. She reminded me that "refugees" had no pillow to rest on until they found a Godly place to sleep and then she started telling me stories from the Bible. She was illiterate but she remembered so many stories "by heart". After her stories, I felt better and appreciated the peeling white washed walls of our wooden houses.

White Wash - Tom Sawyer

Reading Tom Sawyer gave me an uplifted sense of wonder. Fences in the US were white washed. There was this big house called White House. After that, I thought that all houses painted in white, or white washed were just lovely. One night as I cycled home from MYF I saw my wooden house gleaming pale white in the dark. I was glad I 'was coming HOME". I had a home in which lived my parents, my siblings and my grandma.

White Wash - today many people have forgotten about white washing as a metaphor. May be it has gone out of use. Obsolence? Never mind. writers, politicians, tycoons. do a lot of white washing.

White wash in Fujian...for the first time I realised that white wash could be just made in a back yard. In Minqin I saw this..and men came to collect their white wash in their pails, ride off in their tricycle for their day's earning.

White wash cannot be erased from my memory.

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