25 July 2012

Appearance is deceiving

My aunt told us this story yesterday- she went to our small town post office to get a parcel for my cousin. There was an old man queueing up to do a banking (Amanah Saham) transaction. He wasn't sure what form to use, so my kind aunt assisted him. He asked some people to help him fill up the details on the form, but none was willing to. Seeing that, my aunt offered to help. When she asked him how much money would he like to bank in, he said "ten, and 500 for the wife". It turned out that he was banking in "10,000". He gave my aunt a 10 ringgit tips after she had completed the two forms for him. She refused, but he insisted...and I bet those three people he approached to help him earlier were shocked to know he had that much money to bank in. Well, he reminds me of my late grandfather, my aunt's father. He used to go to town wearing simple clothes, and a baseball hat, with his old green kantung (canvas sling bag) that had seen better days. He would sell bahar (coconut sap) at the weekend tamu (open market) and since he was the only one that had a licence to sell 'alcoholic beverages' in the whole tamu then,(bahar is alcoholic!), he would let others sell under his name and taxed them RM1 per day. Being the hardworking man he was, he often managed to bank in quite a large amount of money at a time, just like the old man that my aunt helped. My grandfather was illiterate, unless if you consider being able to write his name and a few simple sentences literate. [The most hilarious thing he ever wrote was "PANABUT (Penyabut) ATAS ATAP" (screwdrive on the roof),on one of the walls of his house, that was meant for his children, but could have easily gotten him robbed if the wrong party saw it. Anyway, that was 'ama' = 'father' (that's what his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him)]. Moral- an ugly looking Dusun person might have lots of money on them. (phew, writing this makes me miss my late grandfather very much)