It makes sense to start my life story with my mum. Without her, I would not exist in this world writing this essay. I have no idea what happened in the world before I was born. According to an interview with my mum, she told me that I was born as an accident, not a plan. It is probably true that I was an only child, and my mum’s sisters did not have children today. There was an option of abortion, but my mum somehow decided not to kill me as it was a life, which is something like a miracle. Somehow I was lucky enough to survive and birth on the 31st of July. I have a very vague memory of my childhood life, barely remember the motto that my mum always told me, such as money is not everything, but everything needs money. My mum was an accountant who is proud of her intelligence and mathematics. And she always believes that my intelligence today is due to her genes instead of my father. Overall, I do think she is an intelligent person even without an official educational degree in university back in the old days.
My mum’s father died of lung cancer when I was only a few years old. I have very little memory about him today; my mum said he was pleased to see me enjoying and praising the food he cooked. Because he used to be a chef, it was a legend about how good he was at cooking and how he came from Chaozhou in Guangdong province of China to Hong Kong. He has a strong character but got a bad habit of smoking. Although people asked him to stop smoking, he said he would rather die young if he needs to suffer from the pain of quit smoking. Life is more enjoyable with smoking, and it was his personal decision. If he listened to the advice, maybe he would still be alive today, and we could meet each other. However, his attitude towards life is something we should respect. It is worth it to trade off our life for something enjoyable. Life is too long if we could not do what we enjoy doing. Given that the opportunity cost is high and the consequence is foreseeable, I could only respect his preference and life decisions, wishing him no regret after all.
There are many things I should feel grateful for from my parents. If my intelligence is inherited from my mum, then my appearance is inherited from my dad’s gene. Therefore I get the best of both worlds. I got an average height and ordinary look. It is not good enough to be an actor, but it was okay for me to find a girlfriend. I can remember my mum used a clothes hanger to punish me throughout my childhood education, but my dad rarely scolds me. The only thing I remember is that I was addicted to internet usage, and he shut down the internet router at midnight to stop my use. He was a morning person who wants me to have a healthier habit, but my mum was a night person who always stays awake at midnight. I followed my mum’s routine, and we love to watch TV and newspaper till 3 am. My dad loved to play computer games, and we used to play together, such as Red Alert, war games. He was an engineer, and his interest in electricity, networking and computer influence me as a kid. Today I am a software engineer using a computer every day, thanks to his introduction to me on a computer back when I was still a kid.
When I was in primary school, the Japanese anime Pokemon was very popular. Interestingly, I was anti-social and never watched a single episode. I thought it was childish, and I could not understand why a yellow object is so loveable. It dramatically affects my social life and interaction with my friends because their only conversation is about Pokemon during the class breaks. They love to play a game, trying to remember as many pocket monsters names as they could remember, starting from Pikachu. I hate this silly act so much and have no interest in joining them. Instead, I was a volunteer as a librarian. I enjoy reading books when no friends I could talk to. I was particularly interested in Chinese history. The stories before Han Dynasty in two campaigns are fascinating. I admire the heroes and wish to travel back in time to meet them in the battle between Xiang Yu and Liu Bong. I want to be a strategist who can advise the emperor to win the war and set up policies to bring wealth to all the people. My world view was so simple: look at history that all failure was not listening to people. I could be a better king if I follow the advice and follow the suggestions.
I spent six years in primary school, it was Catholic, and today I can still remember how to pray. Every morning, the first thing to do was pray, and every afternoon, the last thing before leaving was to pray. It did not make me a Catholic, but it does teach me to be kind. The school is within walking distance from my home, and some students came from less privileged families. The secondary school next to my primary school is notorious for naughty students fighting each other. Therefore teachers told us to stay away from it and get back home as early as possible. My best friend at that time was a kid who was a premature baby. The early-born affects his later development, as he looks physically weak. He was a target to be bullied at school as the world of children could be pretty brutal. They are animal-like who follow the strongest and laugh at the weakest. I was a good student in academics but also a shy student to make new friends. Naturally, the most unpopular classmates like to make friends with me as academic capable but socially awkward as my friends.
I cannot remember the details of my childhood anymore, but I can remember my fear of the teacher. The scariest one was a PE teacher. She loves to put on heavy make-up and strong perfume. It was a smell of fear, as we could tell she was nearby by her scent. She loves to yell at students, and my strategy was to stay away from her as much as possible. Even though I was a good student, I would get in trouble for an innocent reason. For example, as a kid, I started to want to look good by putting water on my hair and sometimes blowing it using a hairdryer to keep the hairstyle. It was prohibited to put on hair gel, and I did not have any hair product as a kid. I was being accused of putting hair gel on my hair, but the fact was only water. There was little justice in school because kids have no bargaining power. Looking back, I think school was more like a prison for a child. It was a shame to be mandatory. I did not enjoy the free education system as much, and I would have performed better if I could have had a better education.
Originally published at http://victorleungtw.com on July 25, 2021.