Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Best Meal In The Year Of The Dragon

The title of this post sounds premature, I know.  In this vast city of restaurants, cafes and yes, even food trucks, the 'best meal' is always something to be chased, hunted and consumed.

But this 'best meal' wasn't about the food.  It was about seeing my Dad again for the first time in many, many years. 

We had a huge, terrifying falling out around 2006.  I'll skip over the details - messy and complicated, the past isn't worth picking over.  Let's just say that he was the most traditional of Chinese fathers and I was the most un-filial of Chinese daughters.  When Mum passed away in 1992, there was no middlewoman to deal with the unruliness and mess that comes with having with kids, no filter between him and the rebellious, confusing child. 

So to be sitting down at lunch and sharing a meal with him and my brother last Saturday was mind-blowing.  It was the most awkward, confusing, amazing, mysterious and unexpected thing I could comprehend.

I received my lunch invitation via my brother Andy - he said that he and my father were thinking of going to lunch to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and would I like to come? 
Stunned, I asked, "Is that okay with Dad?"
Andy replied, "It was his idea."

And so it went.

I have a theory, but no actual evidence as to why my father wanted to resume contact.  He didn't tell me why this most astounding of meals came to be.  He is Not A Talker.  He came from an age when Men Did Not Have Feelings.  One of the first international students to study in Australia under the Colombo Plan, he was terrifyingly ambitious and determined in a steely, set-jawed, Gordon Gecko kind of way.  He owned an engineering firm.  He bought not one, but two Porches.  He paid for overseas holidays, built his own computers and ordered his shoes from Bally.  He was (still is) a Doer, not a Talker. 
He is, after all, a Metal Dragon.

Maybe he thought it would be nice to have the family together again, in this year, his celestial animal year.  Maybe.

I'll never know - but that's okay.  That's more than okay.  It was just wonderful to be sharing a meal with Dad again.

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!  May 2012 bring you a few extra dollars and whole lotta love.

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