Thursday, May 15, 2008

Choy Choy Bak Kut Teh - Old Klang Road

Life’s Lesson and Bak Kut Teh
Last night I took my former boss who is a HongKonger back to his hotel. I was driving along Old Klang Road and spotted my old favorite Bak Kut Teh restaurant, Choy Choy (Pass Tmn Desa traffic lights junction on your left, keep left and slow down to park.)
Do you want Bak Kuk Teh for supper?” I know he has a soft spot for this particular dish. Each restaurant has their own secret concoction of herbs and spices. The difference is in the degrees (heat/duration of cooking and quantity), literally and figuratively.
My wife and I used to patronize this place but it was 14 years ago. Then not a single blip on the radar. This is due to the arrival of our son. Life centered on him.
The chef has aged. He has grey hair, lots of them. The soup has turned darkish and ‘colloidish’. It was no longer the clear soup that I was used to. The taste is much more potent, stronger in its taste and aroma. I preferred the lighter version.
That sets me thinking, what has these 14 years done to him, besides the food and his physical features.
My former boss in one of his discourse (sometimes diatribe) has just lectured on the difference between ‘loving’ and ‘teaching’ in the context of family life. At 62, he discovered the difference and how to use these two judiciously. “Love the parents and teach the children and not the reverse.” And widening its usage, “Love the elderly and reserve the teaching to the young.
Photo: My son in Chanthaburi, East Thailand on 31st Dec, 2002.
I find this to be true. My parents need love. Sometimes when they are feeble and no longer as useful, dispensation of instructions and commands are common communications. They don't need these but love. As for my son, I think he needs more instruction. Instruction to live life not just to the fullest but in a fair, just and civil manner. Not that I don't give love to my son, in fact it radiates to him everyday. He knows it.
Fourteen years has gone. I asked myself the question, “Have I done enough ‘loving and ‘teaching’?” It is still not too late. Even the Bak Kut Teh seller got to change for his clientele. How much more for those who have loved ones, young and old!

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