Friday, June 5, 2015

The Experts

A few months ago, my mother-in-law moved in to my house to live with us. I found it amusing, although I'm appreciative, that my wife actually asked for my permission first. I gave my consent immediately. My mother-in-law is a frail old woman of about 80 years old, and she has trouble moving around because her legs are weak. Whenever she spends too much time on her feet, they would become swollen and she'd suffer a great deal of pain for the next few days. 

Apart from weak legs, she also has some other issues—mostly age-related, I guess— such as poor hearing, can't ever remember to switch off the lights and fans, and of course being stubborn; y'know the common issues with old folks. But the thing that amuses me the most is that she tries very hard to explain things to others even though she herself is not very well-versed in the subject.

She spends her days mostly reading the Bible and other religious scriptures, and watching TV. When JJ comes home from school, she would sometimes watch some movies on Astro which are unfortunately mostly reruns. That means grandma had seen most of those movies; and for heaven's sake, she just can't control herself from being the commentator, telling JJ the whole story from the beginning to the end. We dropped small hints. Then we dropped big hints. Then we dropped gigantic hints. But it's hopeless; she just doesn't get it—she's telling the stories whether you like it or not—period!

At other times, she would also explain how things work, even though she herself knows hardly anything about the subject. And when it comes to God, she knows more than the Bishop, of course. When I was about to send my maid off during a weekend, she reminded her to go to church, because of so-and-so, which I didn't quite catch. Of course my maid just said yes to make her happy; and indeed she was happy for performing her duty in reminding others of what God expects of them. She is blessed with the knowledge that she is an "expert" in many subjects. She is in fact, for the most part, a source of entertainment for me.

Then today I had a revelation. We had a slight tremor here in KK first thing in the morning. It wasn't a big jolt, although I heard it was quite serious up in Ranau and Mount Kinabalu. The funny thing is that I didn't feel the tremor at all, whereas my friends were talking about furniture vibrating, chandelier rattling, and small objects falling off display cabinets. The excitement was frantic. Facebook postings were mostly about the earthquake; WhatsApp chats were discussing quakes too.

I suspect my mother-in-law did not feel the tremor too. She must have been still sound asleep when it happened. When I arrived home from work this evening, she said nothing about earthquake, so I'm guessing that she's still unaware of it. Now I'm thinking perhaps it's a good idea not to inform her, because if she finds out, she may be tempted to explain to JJ and the maid the science of earthquakes.

But anyway, all of a sudden, we have so many "experts" on earthquakes in KK! We have people talking about bombastic words such as "epicenter" and  "aftershocks", and they're even able to predict the exact times when those aftershocks will happen! So it seems like my mother-in-law is not a rare species after all. But well, at least I have my daily dose of entertainment; these people never cease to put a smile on my face.

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