My Dad and his unwilling slave I have never ever ridden a bus, or used the public transport system , growing up with my Mum and my Dad, in Singapore. They were so protective, they drove me any where and every where, I had to go. I hated it then. Other kids came flashing pocket money and flaunting their independence. I got dropped and picked up. No independence, no pocket money. How cheap is that….how humiliating is that, I would fume. My eyes fill, when I think of it now. I had no idea of the amount of time and energy, my elderly, working parents spent. coordinating my road trips, in return for my sulks. All to keep me safe. Protected yes, but safe. My Dad, drove me to school and brought me home, every day of my life. He would go to Christ Church, finish his 7 am communion service, start the Christ Church School Assembly and then drive to Jambatan Merah, the Red Bridge, at the beginning of Keng Lee Road, where nine roads met. He would never let me cross the road on my own. I would wait at the bridge at the intersection of Keng Lee Road and the Jambatan Merah. My Dad would slow the car, as he approached me, reach across and open the door, on the passenger side, for me to hop in. He thought of everything.

click here Don’t be late, Susie ….he would say.
I can’t park at the bridge
You’ll have to get in with the engine on…..don’t be late….

click here We managed to get into St Margaret’s School , just as the Assembly bell rang and he was always there, waiting for me, when the school bell rang at the end of the day, to take me home. I do not remember a single day, when I did not see him parked outside the gate, waiting for me in his white cassock, under the heat ,with no umbrella or hat. I would get into the car and tell him all about my day, talking continuously. Doesn’t your jaw hurt? …he would ask as I jabbered on.
No, ….I would say, feeling my lower jaw.
No it doesn’t hurt… Why do you ask ?….And continue jabbering…..

go here Sometimes, we would stop at the Bookshop, on our way home and he would say…Just. one book , Susie….Just one .…in his serious voice. I would nod solemnly and reply in my serious voice ….OK …Just one. But, we both knew otherwise. We would leave the bookshop, laden with several books. New books for my Dad and new books for me. He loved reading and he had an impressive library, in his study. So impressive, that it used to take us the whole of my school holidays, to finish treating his books with an aromatic essential oil, We had no HEPA filters those days. My Dad used child labour. He had a slave, Susie, to dust , wipe and paint the books with an aromatic essential oil, to keep mould, bookworm and silverfish away.

tu vas rencontrer quelqu'un de bien Whenever I get a whiff of Eucalyptus oil , I think of my Dad and I think of his library and I think of the unending shelves, overflowing with books, that seemed to disappear, into the skies. I think of a little girl, sitting on the floor, fidgeting and fretting over the books that had to be done. Small price, very small price, for all that they did for me, all my life. I would give anything, to go back in time, to my Dad’s study, in the Parsonage on Keng Lee Road. I would give anything, to have my Dad walk in and ask ….Susie, have you finished?…...I  would give anything, to be able to be able to say …All done…..with a smile.


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