Half way constructing Hotel Equatorial, Penang ,my father asked me whether I would like to follow him back to China. After mother has passed away, he has wanted to take a trip back as usual bringing along with him certain cash and clothing that he would like to give to his niece and nephew. I quickly answered yes for I was quite worry that he would be carrying so many heavy things back and further more he has always wanted to show me where our Ancestor came from. In 1984, He and mother have traveled back to their home town after touring Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand
We took our flight from Penang to Xiamen. Once landed in Xiamen international airport and immediately after stepping outside of the aircraft door, I took a deep breath and murmured these words in my mind, " Ah Mah ( Hokkien dialect meaning Grandmother), I am here in China. Why these words? Well, when I was a small boy, my granny would always pamper me with her food given by my mother when she was staying in Penang. Eventually ,my mother would always scold me but my granny words would always supersede every command made by my mother. The main reason for my granny to return back to China was she wished to pass away in China.
Our flight was delayed and when leaving the terminal, I met a tourist guide who helped me to get a reliable taxi. On the way to the hotel, my father ask the taxi driver if he could drive us to our home town tomorrow. The honest driver said yes but he has to informed and get permission to take us there.. I do not recall the fare but remember that it was a standard rate of going there.
During the first night we checked into a hotel that is quite cheap as recommended by the taxi driver. We have a very unpresent stay that night for we have no KEY to lock our door and it was taken by the hotel front office people. I eventually have to move one of the bed console to jam the door in case anybody try to enter our room. Well, I was very worried for my father was carrying some cash back to our relative.
I could not sleep and at around 6.00 am, I woke up and left the hotel to see what it would be like in early morning. Well, the first thing I saw was a lot of people having their regular exercise looked like "Tai Chi ". Felt very happy and I kept on walking further from the hotel to looked at the livelihood of the local people. I normally call them, "Ting Nan" (chinese people) con............