I remember that our landlady had a washing machine. One day, I asked her if I could use her washing machine to wash my clothes. She said yes BUT no clothes and underwear were allowed. Only blanket and bedsheets were allowed. And each time I used it, she charged me a fee for it. Fair enough. One time, I placed some clothes hangers on her dining table for a short while and all hell broke lose! She chided me and said that hangers (in general all hangers!) are very dirty because hangers are also used to hang bras and panties, thus cannot be placed on the dining table! What??! Where is the logic? The clothes are clean what, no?! *roll eyes*!!
Madam Yap was very protective of her son. Her son, John was not allowed to do any sports. John was her golden goose and if she lost him, she would have no more golden eggs. Once when John was only 7 years old, he was run over by the school bus and have had surgery done on his legs. This explains why John was so sheltered. Every morning, my landlady would boil fresh cow's milk ordered from an Indian cow's milk supplier for John before he left for school with our Indian neighbor. She would then take a taxi to bring John back from school in the afternoon.
Renting a room next to ours was this lady by the name of Jeannie. Her husband had gone to work in the US for a 4-year contract. She had to rent a room with her toddler son whom we all fondly call Bebe who was about 2 years old when I moved in. Each morning, we would be awaken by Bebe's cries for his mother when Jeannie was in the bathroom. He was our alarm clock. I would sometimes help to soothe Bebe until Jeannie came out of the bathroom. When my mum came to visit me in 1992, Jeannie was so kind to lend us her car so that we could bring my mum around KL. The last time I met Jeannie was over 10 years ago at her new house. Bebe was about 8 years ago then. Bebe would be about 31 years old now. Jeannie would be in her late fifties by now. I hope that I will bump into them one day.
After Jeannie moved out from her room, a young and newly married couple rented the room. The woman was a teacher. My landlady had so much respect for her just because she was a 'lao xi' (teacher). I remember that this woman kept having miscarriages one after another. I remember how forlorn and depressed she looked after each miscarriage. She had a very good husband who treated her with so much love, gentleness and care. She finally moved out from the room into her new place. Just before I moved out from Madam Yap's house, I heard from Madam Yap that this teacher finally had a baby girl.
to be continued....