Thursday, August 12, 2004

Tell Me Your Story

I still hear no news. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm being impatient, as the ball started to roll only last Friday. I can't expect them to offer me what I want within one week can I? :)

Here's a story for you to continue :

The raindrops can be heard loud and clear, from the zinc roof. It is raining today and it is another day of losses for Chans, as the latex from their small plot of land nearby flows onto the ground with the raindrops. The wooden home they live in damp, and cold. Old Chan is occupied with wood chopping while his wife fixes the hems of their youngest daughter's 3 year old pinafore.

Yin Yee is busy reading the pieces of newspaper with the kerosene lamp by her side, voraciously looking for worthy things to read. Pieces of newspaper her mother brought home, wrapping slabs of pork and other sundry items such as onions, ginger and spices from the sundry shop.

The papers may be old, and only in bits and pieces. But to Yin Yee, it is still a window to the world, no matter how small it may be. Newspaper is too pricey, at MYR 1.40 each day. It is a luxury she has to do without. No one reads at home except for her anyway. Her parents didn't attend school and her 3 siblings all eking a living in the big city.

She didn't go to school today. The dirt road leading out of her village would be too muddy to trudge on today. And she wouldn't want to ruin one of her two pinafores, which she intends to use for another 2 years.

She can't go to the school library today and dive into the bookshelves as she does everyday after school. She would read the newspapers first before looking for a book she fancies. The reading materials are all in languages that are new to her, having come from a primary school that taught in her mother tongue. She struggles to understand the many idiosyncracies in the languages, but she knows she must master it. She wonders why there are no newspaper in her mother tongue in the library although one can easily purchase it from a shop.

With a book or magazine in hand, she would rush home to help her parents with the manual work of processing latex over fire stoke by wood to sheets of raw rubber.

She is not doing that today. When will the rain stop?


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