Monday, December 17, 2012

A visitor we Do Not Expect

With the news of us relocating to Beijing recently, our relatives and many of our friends have made promises and plans of their imminent visit while we are here and we are glad. After all, one of the reason that we took a three room unit in Beijing was to have an extra guest room for our visiting friends and relatives. 

However, there are two things that we did not expect. Firstly, we did not expect to receive a visitor from Malaysia within the first two weeks that we are here and secondly, the visitor himself was someone that we would NEVER have imagined or expect in a million years!

Not that I am complaining. In fact, I am totally ecstatic when he informed me that he would be coming to Beijing and would keep me updated on his arrangement. I remembered clearly informing my wife about his arrival and she could not believe her ears too.

I would have expect our first visitor would be relative or a close friend of ours but never, nope, never, a classmate whom I have not sat down casually to catch up and chit chat for over 3 decades after we both left ACS Ipoh after our Upper Six.

Oh yes, we still see each other on the professional basis, although he is probably the last person I would love to see in his capacity. You see, he is our children pediatrician, Dr Liew from Subang. If we were to make a trip to see him, it would be because it has became necessity arising from some form of illness or health issues we would have with our two super charged offspring. In other words, the less we see him, the better!

But, this is one friend that I have always admire and respect from the days when we were classmates back in Ipoh. He has always came across as the determined, extremely focus, always cheerful, shy, quiet and intelligent chap in the class who goes about doing nothing else but study and make sure that he excelled in his exams. And that he did with flying colors, not that it surprises me. I, on the other hand, was pleasantly surprised that I did not fail every subject and got enough to scrap into TAR College, considering the amount of activities and fun I had!

And what impressed me the most during his visit to Beijing were three things:-
  • he made every effort to make sure that we do meet up so much so that he actually took a cab from where he was staying and made his way to our apartment.
  • he was in Beijing to fulfill one of his childhood dreams after all these years.
  • he was every bit the same old person I have grown to respect and admire with some pretty amazing transformation over the years. 
As we sat down over the two days that we have time together, we walked down our memory lane fondly together, caught up with what we were up to after we parted ways in school and how we got to where we were today. We talked of our age (oh yes, we are no longer in our youth), our changed priorities, our focus now in our lives, our aspiration and dreams yet to be fulfilled. As we exchanged our views , it has became increasing clear that we both share the view of how important to revisit and rekindle those friendships that we have built over the years.
The funny thing was that we actually shared similar nightmares albeit for different reasons. He has nightmares, even now, of going into an examination hall, not that he does not know the answers but for trivial reasons like forgetting to bring pencils or identification documents. I, on the other hand, have nightmares of sitting in the examination hall, starring blankly at the examination paper and not knowing a single thing, a true reflection of the difference between both our readiness towards examination!
The Dr Liew that I have the privilege to catch up with while in Beijing, although still very much the very likeable and cheerful person with an extremely positive outlook in life and still equally focus in his quest and dreams, however, is also an extremely open, confident and chatty chap, no longer shy nor quiet.
I am very glad that things have worked out very nicely for him and his lovely family and he is definitely a role model that my children could follow .... not only excelling in his studies but the determination, cheerfulness, positive outlook and the focus that he exhibits in pursuing his dreams. (My earlier post on Dr Liew under the post "Determination and never give in and never give up)
Oh yes, about his fulfilled childhood dream in Beijing. He is a trained wushu exponent as long as I have known him and to be trained in Beijing by the best teachers was one of his wish. I admired him for making it a point to realize that one dream (not many of us do. Many of us, even forgets what that dream was in our journey growing up) but more importantly, the same courage, determination and focus he has in being the oldest participant at 50 while the rest were in their teens and prime twenties.

He was definitely NOT the visitor we expect but the visitor that we are extremely thankful and glad to have.


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doctordowushu said...

Hi, I am always impressed by your command in language and speech right from those school days! You can write such a beautiful article so effortlessly. I am so touched and overjoyed in reading it. I am so happy to see you and your lovely family in Beijing 2 weeks ago. You and Catherine certainly are very adventurous and brave moving to Beijing, the weather, the people, culture, language,food,school,environment ....are drastically different from home...I salute to you both! Wishing you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

MeRy said...

Interesting post....

Anonymous said...

Hi Daddy,

Ya. I agree with you about Dr Liew. He's my son's favourite paed too as he's a friendly doc and my son would not walk away till Dr Liew gave him some sticker and chewable

chinnee said...

examination is certainly something that we all scare for LIFE! wonder why can affect so many of us so badly...hahaha...

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