Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sins of the Forefathers

I woke up suddenly, at 5.35am.

Went to bed around two hours ago, after spending the night writing. I dreamed that I was in black and white. That was it. That's all I remember. Just me in black and white.

Been talking to some old people recently. Old fighters. Old soldiers.

You know, I'm not like, draping a cape all over myself, but I sometimes think of all those people who came before us. They fought for Independence, they fought for a lot of shit. And for what?

So that the rich can prey on the poor? So that we can all self-destruct? I mean, I pity those people.

My grandfather fought for Independence alongside Tun Razak. They were first cousins. All he wanted as a reward, was to stay at his own home, surrounded by his stupid durian trees.

And drink water with shaved cucumber. Cause in the old days, they didn't have refrigerators. One of the best ways to cool your drink was to plonk down shaved cucumbers in the glass.

Going further back, my ancestors travelled all the way from Makasar, Pattani and Guangdong, on ships, on foot, for what?

To sleep on a brick?

I got family in China. My aunt and uncle made the trip around 10 years back to retrace the family tree. Met descendants of the Foong family. We're Cantonese, obviously. The Foongs plant tea or some shit. I forgot. Used to be landowners. Now, farmers.

On my mother's side, it's a bit mixed up. I got one ancestor who was a travelling preacher from Pattani. He had super powers like heat vision and shit. His children became cattle herders and after World War 2, landowners.

I set to inherit some land in Jerantut and Kuantan. But I can't sell them. Nope. Those are 'tanah pusaka'. I can't fucking let go of that shit. Best I could do is generate income from it.

I have some ideas, as I always do, but no capital and no manpower.

Sometimes, I do feel like packing everything up and going back to Pahang and start agricultural shit. Inherit the family business, you know? My family, both on the Chinese and Malay side, we grow things. I HATE growing things.

I have some experience in the matter. Kangkong (morning glory) is the easiest vegetable to plant. Just grab a handful of seed, and just fucking spread them around.

My land in Kuantan, is swamp land. Perfect for these vegetables. Cucumbers grow extra-large there, so does eggplant. I've sat by and complained incessantly as my father planted long beans and shit. The old man has a green thumb. Everything he grows, always get extra large and abundant.

We used to rear chickens and quail, and they grew big. We had a fish pond, and the fish were heavy and huge. There were ducks, and in my early childhood, cows.

Quail is interesting. In order for you to turn a profit, you need at least 5,000-10,000 of the birds. You need an incubator, and a means to separate male and female chicks. The money comes from quail eggs. The meat is a sideline business.

But the economics are dumb, really.

An acre of land can yield tapioca worth 8000 bucks in 10 months. Not enough, certainly, unless you have a means of processing and then marketing the thing.

There's also bio-terrorism. My father had a rambutan orchard with the real gula batu rambutans. In order to protect the trees from monkeys, he introduced some giant fire ants to the area. To this day, the fire ants thrive on the fruits of the rambutans.

But really, what the hell was all that for? All the fighting, all the struggle, if we get robbed everyday by the rich?