Friday, April 17, 2009

In Amsterdam...

...and spent the evening at my Uncle F.'s, catching up over hotpot. It's strange how I miss my family even as I'm with them. Uncle F. is 2 years older than my mother, number 3 in the family and the eldest son and it's interesting to see how different, but seemingly the same the 4 eldest siblings are on my mother's side of the family.

My grandparents left my mother in China with her grandmother and 3 elder siblings when she was 1 year old in 1951 for Surinam, which was a Dutch colony at the time. She did not reunite with them until she was 13 and the mentality between my mother and her 2 younger siblings who were born and bred in South America is so different. Even the way my grandparents, particularly my grandmother, treated the 4 eldest is so seemingly strange...there isn't the same paternal/maternal instinct or closeness that one would expect.

Anyway...I had a great time catching up with my Uncle, who I hadn't seen since my last visit in Amsterdam 3 years ago...and then, there was other family there so we didn't have one-on-one time to chat. This time around, I was able to ask him about my mother when she was a child, and he was able to tell me a little bit about my father who was 3 years older than he...they were "brothers" practicing Wing Chun together in Surinam. We laughed and chatted over 5 bottles of Prosecco - my mother doesn't drink, but my Uncle F. and my eldest aunt do, so perhaps I got my taste for vino from them....

It's almost 4am here and I'm too tired to articulate what it is that I feel after spending time talking about the past...it's a wistful, bittersweet wondering of what might have been if my father had decided to settle in The Netherlands instead of Canada...I feel a deeper connection with my mother's side of he family...but that may also be because of so much water that's flowed under the bridge on my father's side...it is what it is though....that, we can not change...

1 comment:

The Lone Beader said...

Wow, I have never been to Amsterdam! Glad you are having a nice time!

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