This Tuesday as usual, I had dinner with Frits and Cato, the old Dutch couple who live in Wageningen Hoog. Every week I bring some typical Chinese dish and culture to this Dutch table. This time after the dinner I presented a small gift, a box of Mooncake (a special pastry for a Chinese traditional festival).
‘Derek, I got this mail today,' said Frits while he was taking out a letter from the envelope, ‘Do you know who sent it? I found your name in it.' He pointed at the letter totally written in Chinese.
‘I guess it's from my parents.' I couldn't wait to tell them why they sent it, but I didn't know what on earth my parents said in the letter.
‘I think the writing is beautiful. Could you translate it for us?' asked Cato in Dutch. ‘Sure,' then I started to do the translation word for word.
To my surprise, it turned out to be a thank-you note from my parents. In the letter they expressed their gratitude to the support and care this aimable Dutch family had been giving me. The letter was sent from China on September 11, one day before the Mooncake Festival, and coincidently arrived in Wageningen Hoog together with my Mooncake. Mom, do you have the ability of telepathy?
Cato and Frits looked quite grateful to this double-surprise and gave me a firm handshake in return. But never forget that not tear but laugh is the theme in this house. ‘Derek, I can feel your Mom's love on you. Please tell her that you will never wok alone,' said Frits and Cato's son Gerard, and made the living room full of laughter again. ‘Thank you for your mother's regard, Derek. I will reply a letter in Dutch soon,' said Frits at his iconic unhurried pace. Like father like son? This family have interpreted the saying the other way around!
It was just another joyful and touching dinner in the forest of Wageningen Hoog. I know, with them, I will never wok alone.
Vid of the Week:
Angry Bird mooncake? Fact is always stranger than fiction.