This weekend was my grandpa’s birthday and we went out to celebrate with extended family. As always, we went to a Chinese restaurant and had lobster, fish, Chinese water spinach with mushrooms, sweet and sour pork (I still can’t believe that’s actually an authentic dish!), lo mai fan, and other dishes that I can’t remember.
I want to talk about my grandpa because I think he’s pretty cool. He is from Hong Kong and used to teach Chinese and when he came to Canada over 30 years ago, he got a job as a janitor at a high school. He is extremely skilled in Chinese calligraphy. He took the time to carve stone stamps for me, my sisters and cousins. He really wants to travel but because my grandma doesn’t, he is content to stay in Canada. He loves my grandma very much. He enjoys going to Swiss Chalet whenever he wants a break from Chinese food. He used to take his family there every so often (I guess that’s why my dad and uncles like Swiss Chalet so much). My grandpa likes watching Chinese television and whenever I ask him what’s going on (because I don’t understand very much) he is always patient to explain what is happening even though I’m disrupting him. He is an avid coffee drinker but cannot eat many desserts because he has diabetes. He is always willing to play majong, Chinese checkers or Chinese chess with us even though we’re way out of his league. He goes on YouTube and searches hymns in Chinese and sings along to them. He and my grandma have been growing zucchini and a variety of Chinese vegetables in their garden for years and always gives away their biggest vegetables. When he was a boy, he used to steal mangos from the neighbour’s trees. And (according to my sister) he says that my grandma is lucky to be with him because when he was younger, all the girls would chase him – but he chose my grandma :)
I love my grandpa and I am so thankful that I have known him this long.
Happy birthday Yeh Yeh!