• 2.17-21.8 Chicago bound : my Family here

    Cousin's backyard - Mid Winter 2008 Chicago, ILCousin’s backyard – Mid Winter 2008 Chicago, IL

    Strange, unfamiliar, alienated from my norm but yet it was all too easy. This was the overall feelings of the day. I spent a lot of time avoiding the cold by staying inside watching cable TV- catching up on movies that I’d soon forget anything about. I alternated between that and did online communication exchanges of contexts that at the end, were just time fillers.

    Strangest of this whole thing with the family was this odd shaped hole where I fit back in. I was staying with my cousin Tina (P’Pu), one of a handful of cousins I grew up with in the tiny town in Thailand. (That’s the home ran by our maternal grandparents.) She – being a few years older, was always the one looking after me. She was the perfect model child especially for me to take example of. She has always been so proper, sweet, practical, good at all things intricate. She was culturally correct and harmonious with all people of all ages. She left us from Thailand when she was about 12 to her parents living in Chicago with 2 younger brothers – Dean and Danny. I hadn’t seen them in probably 14 years, I think, since her wedding here. 

    I came to realize the dynamic of a family composition. The reason we are who we are is because everyone else around us were a certain way. In my case, I suddenly felt explained – after decades of clouds. And all this without the expense of compromising my identity.

    Introductions and reintroductions… Tina (P’Pu) has now 2 children. Her oldest is about 12, Pan. Pan looks EXACTLY like Tina the way I always thought of her. Tina is stuck at 12 in my memory. It was creepy. And what do you know… Pan was even MORE perfect of a child. How is this possible? Pan keeps up extracurricular activities of swimming, volleyball, violin, piano, art, AND she’s very advance in karate! Yet her manner is outstandingly polite. I suddenly found myself becoming a huge fan of her. 

    Pan’s brother Jay, about 9, on the other hand is strangely quiet. He observes and smiles. I don’t think I heard him made a sentence the whole time I was there. He also looked exactly like Danny, his uncle, at the age I remember of Danny – at about 9. 

    Slightly catching up with Tina’s parents, my aunt Na Tew and her husband Na Chusak was not too bad. I guess at my age, they just gave up on trying to tell me what is wrong with me. (…)

    Tina and her son Jay

    Tina and her son Jay

    Pan

    Pan

    Pan's buddy Taty

    Pan's buddy Taty

    Pan and Taty's day off

    Pan and Taty's day off

    Pan and Taty making a movie

    Pan and Taty making a movie

    At some point I decided that it would be so cool to take Pan to see Wilco. It will be her first concert ever. Pan’s friend Taty has been hanging around, so I’d take her, too. I was excited to see what they would think about the concert scene in general, and how would Wilco translate to them.

    As it turned out, the big excitement was the fact that they were staying up late on a school night.  And it proven difficult with them getting tired. I’ve gotta say though, that they were the greatest kids ever. I asked them to stay out of everyone’s way and stay near me at all time. They did exactly that. I adore them.

    Pan and Taty hiding at Wilco's stage right

    Pan and Taty hiding at Wilco's stage right

    Pan and Taty being bored backstage

    Pan and Taty being bored backstage

    Pan and Jay getting ready to go to school

    Pan and Jay getting ready to go to school

    Tina (P'Pu) in charge

    Tina (P'Pu) in charge

    Pan and Jay on the way to school

    Pan and Jay on the way to school

    Pan is heading to volleyball class

    Pan is heading to volleyball class