Sunday, July 25, 2010

P & O Pacific Sun

July 22nd, is a very special day to me. It is the birthday of my youngest son Samuel. It is also the birthday of my Dad. To make it more special, both of them have the same Chinese Zodiac, the Rat.

During the last few years when I was in Singapore, I make it a point to visit Kuching, Borneo, so that we could celebrate their birthdays. During those holidays, Dad and I spent a lot of time talking.

Dad passed away in 2006, and that same year, we returned to New Zealand. On Sam's birthday, I remember my dad too.

In April, we sailed in a ferry to Rangitoto Island. When we came back, this gigantic liner was docked beside Hilton Hotel. I was elated to see it was a P & O liner. No one could guess why I was so excited.

When I was twenty months, Dad flew in a little plane from Sibu. We were all there to see him off. All meaning the whole Chan and Kong clan. My Uncle Hung always teased me that when he asked me ," Where's Dad?" " Dad Fooooo" and used my hand to demostrate the flight of the plane. He joked that I couldn't talk, but I could ,"Fooooo.". This event was etched in his mind that whether I went to visit him, even when I was an adult, he would relate this to everyone present.

Dad came home, I was almost five. Later, he told me he had sailed from Singapore to London, and back in a P & O liner. He reminiced the swimming pool, the fine dining, yes fine dining. It wasn't the cheap buffet, but a sit down dining. Sometimes, he aroused the curiousity of the rich passengers wondering why a Chinese young man from Sarawak would be in this liner and gain their amazement that he was going to and on his return trip had studied in London.

I yearned in my heart to go on a cruise. Alas, so far, nobody has taken me on a cruise.

This post is for all my siblings and also for fellow blogger Carolyn. I was going to show her our stationary liner Hotel Hilton, but I decided to do this one today.


Cassie said...

Ann, this is such a sweet post. My sympathy on the loss of your dear father. It was so cool that you got to see the luxuary liner just outside your Hilton. Like a love note from your daddy!! That is one huge ship. I never heard of some of the places you mention. Now I have to get out the old Atlas.

Ginny Hartzler said...

What lovely memories you have of this ship! And these pictures show just how huge it is! I have never been on a cruise, either. But how did I miss your son's birthday post? Maybe you posted these two around the same time. He is such a handsome boy, and the cake looks yummy! I didn't know about the signifigance of being 14. Here in the states, it's a big thing to have your "Sweet 16 birthday" for girls. give your son a big birthday hug from me and tell him I said Happy Birthday!

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» enjoyed this post very much.

Like you, «Louis» has always wanted to take a cruise on a great ocean liner, but so far has not done it.

Here are some photos he took of Cunard's then-new Queen Mary II when she called on San Francisco.

The JR said...

That's a good memory. Maybe one day you will get to go on the P&O.

jay said...

What a beautiful dream - and one that brings sweet memories of your Dad, too!

Yes, I can see how my Macro Monday puzzle this week reminded you of the front of a liner - quite uncanny, really! But of course, in reality it was a lot, lot smaller!

I have fond memories of climbing Rangitoto - blazing hot sun, pink cinder paths and butterflies! Yes, we reached the crater and it was so green!