According to Aunt Su she believes there is a living relative of hers residing somewhere in Southern Thailand.
You have not been watching the news channel all that much, haven't you? Southern Thailand?
What's wrong with Southern Thailand, that's my kampong.
Okay, nevermind about Southern Thailand for now but tell me about this relative of yours.
Good for me because she can't remember much except for, masa kecik-kecik dulu orang panggil dia Wa. I consider this information the best news I have received the last couple of days since this simply means I have nothing much to go on as a way of getting into the case, going on a trip like Indiana Jones looking for something from the ancient world, a girl named Wa. It was late so I said, okay I'll se what I can do to find out more.
When was the last time you saw her?
Tak tau, maksu tak ingat.
Masa tu sapa perdana menteri?
We've got two dead prime ministers, which one?
Good, she can't remember. (Or maybe she chose not to remember because she could see right through I was not that all fired up to help her on this one.)
It has something to do with my attitude towards relatives in general. When I was young, we seldom had relatives coming to our house for a visit. Not even on Hari Raya. Quite frankly I didn't like it all that much when relatives from upriver came down for a visit to talk to Grandma about people I had never met, or who had been long dead. And Aunt, being a widow tried hard not to meet up with relatives who'd tease her about her marital status, or alluding that a man was interested to take her as a missus. One time a relative was so bold to came to our house, under the pretext of a casual visit, bringing along with them a suitor for Aunt. It got Aunt all fuming mad that I thought the world was coming to an end that I had to delay asking money from her for a toy until much later in the evening when she was back to being herself, always giving me money whenever I wanted it no matter how much.
All this business about relatives is making me all uneasy because I don't have someone I know I can call paklang, or maklang, or maklong or paklong or whatever. This concept is alien to me, and I am very comfortable with it that I don't plan on digging up people who may be connected to Grandma or Aunt just so I can figure out the ties. I don't need relatives. For crying out loud, I don't even know who my dad or mom, other than dad was in the navy and mom ran away from home and never came back. Give me a good reason why in the world I should be bothered with distant relatives. Of course I can never tell Aunt Su about this. It will only hurt her. I know what it feels like to have the only person in the world you can call maksu and mean it. You see, she's the only distant relative I got and this is one too many as it is.