Six Degrees

Alison was in Penang over the weekend and we had agreed to meet, if only just for tea. She was in town for work.
You see, I have never met Alison before but I’ve been a regular reader of her blog over at Mettaville.
I’ve often enjoyed her blog; perhaps opposites attract. While I get longwinded and a bit too wordy at times, Alison keeps things succinct and to the point. Plus she always has a photo to accompany her thoughts. And I simply enjoy reading her daily affirmations. They’re bursting with positivity and exuberance which light up my day!
In fact, I even subscribed to the Daily OM, which I found on her blog. Being the Buddhists that we both are, the Daily OM sends daily positive messages to kickstart our day. Then again, I think the Daily OM isn’t just for Buddhists/Hindus/New Agers despite its OM-ness!
But yeah, back to my story. We met up on Sunday afternoon and took her and her friend, Josephine to our favourite Indian restaurant in Little India. Sri Ananda Bhawans was teeming with people due to the Deepavali shoppers.
Over cups of hot masala tea, crispy vadei and curry puffs, we formally introduced ourselves to each other. Like I said, many of my friendships these days happen online and then we bring it further one level by meeting up. I met Daphne this way. I also met Vern this way. And many others.
And now Alison.
What a brilliant way of starting a friendship – one starts by knowing the personal stuff and move back into the (ahem) formalities like “what do you do in your day job?”
We shared a love for cats – Alison has Kiki and I have Margaret.
And on our walk back to the car, I found out that Alison’s auntie lives in Taman Seri, Telok Datok, Banting! What a small world. And her auntie and uncle were teachers too.
You see, I grew up in that little town. My dad was a teacher for 32 years in Banting. There’s absolutely NO ONE (and this is said without much boasting at all) that my dad doesn’t know. As a discipline teacher and as an English teacher, my dad can tell me in a jiffy who’s who.
I often teased Dad that he would be the mayor of Banting, if ever anyone had that idea. (Which is a bad thing when I was growing up. I couldn’t do a single evil thing without my teachers telling Dad about it. I couldn’t even play truant in class. I was supposed to be THE model student just because my dad was the super strict discipline teacher who walked around the school with a rotan behind his back.)
In the end, I found out that Alison’s auntie is actually my Maths tuition teacher’s wife! Oooh, such a small world.
Mr Kana (her uncle) was a gruff bear of a teacher who often putted in his garden in the evenings. He taught me Maths when I was in Form 3 up to Form 5. My friends and I used to have oodles of fun in his classes which were held in a makeshift classroom behind his bungalow.
In my melodramatic way (I used to be pretty melodramatic as a teen due to those 3-hour Hindi movies I used to watch in glee), I used to whine about Maths being the death of me (I can still remember all those ‘pelan’ and ‘dongakan’ stuff which I used to do.)
It wasn’t exactly my favourite subject but Dad sent me to Mr Kana because all teachers know they cannot teach their own children. So they send them to their teacher friends.
Mr Kana’s smart toss back with mirth added for good measure was, “No one ever died of doing Maths.”
And to think Alison is his niece by virtue of marriage!
Six degrees – one better believes it!

4 thoughts on “Six Degrees”

  1. amazing isn’t it? i remember reading your previous posts mentioning banting a couple of times but never really thought of asking further… who would ever thought, our uncle kana was your tuition teacher??!! that make shift classroom is still in session! 🙂

  2. Hello…I just stopped by from Alison’s blog. Isn’t it amazing these days how we recognize our connections to each other…so wonderful you were connected by a teacher, before you found each other on the web!


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