I was driving along the road when this small restaurant (kopitiam more likely) caught my eye. It wasn't a very outstanding one. It didn't have a lot of good food. It was just one of those forgettable ones in the middle of a housing/commercial area. If I didn't pass by it, it wouldn't have crossed my mind how special it was.
I was there at that exact place last two years. I ate a plate of HOR FUN or cantonese noodle or whatever thingamajig they call it. It wasn't awesome. It didn't change my life.
You see, the circumstances leading to my dinner there was this:
I was sick. I was staying in a nearby hospital (Penang GH) and I had been in the hospital for a week or so. My life had always revolved around occasional vacations in hospital beds. Last year was maybe the worst of it all. Anyway, I think in 2013, I was admitted to Penang GH. As per usual, we all know hospital food can be shitty. We get the occasional treats from outside in a tupperware, plastic bowl, tin cup ensemble. But one particular day, mom didn't buy food into the hospital as usual. Instead, I asked her to wait for me while I go to the bathroom, change into a normal t-shirt and walk out to the car park with her.
I was wearing those shitty green pants the hospitals make you change into when you "check in". I had a hospital ID tag on my wrist. I knew my medications will be in a few hours time. We decided to take a stroll out to the nearest shitty restaurant and we ate there.
It feels different. The atmosphere, the food, the whole feel is just different. I didn't care whether the food was horrible. I just felt alive again.
These small little adventures kind of change us. Make us remember. I also remember being shit out of luck with the hot water in the hospital. I hadn't washed my hair in a couple of days cause I couldn't save my life without hot water.
Guess, what... we drove 20 kilometers away from Penang GH to my home to get a hot shower and then back to the hospital. Life is much more fun being a rebel.
I'm not advocating everyone to do the same but if your kid/parent is not strapped to a hospital bed and your kid/parent is always in and out of the hospital. Make sure you know their schedule, know what and when they need their stuffs. Know when the doctors will make their rounds. Know when the nurses will take their readings. Know what they can and cannot eat...
Then once in a while, bring them on an adventure. They'll feel alive again.
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