Weekend with Cousin Alvin


Cousin Alvin dropped by Shanghai this weekend. Since young, he has been one of my favourite cousins. We are like 12 years apart and his son is 17 years old now! (Elkan is only 3!) As he is my dad’s sister’s son, we hardly meet up at all in Singapore. In fact, we last met and chatted briefly in 2002 (at my wedding). So, you can imagine we never exchange a word for the past 5 years.

It is never awkward to meet a long-lost cousin. I took some hours off on Friday and met him. Guess we shared the same chemistry, we chatted like old friends. To my surprise, he was closer to my dad than I. He told me about his regular meet-ups with my dad. My dad spends more time on other people than on his own son. I am not complaining but I guess this is how we manage our dad-son relationship. Silently in love, I guess.

I was tasked by Cousin Yei to show Alvin around. (I have done this "tour-guide" job many times!) But this weekend, we decided to do something different. At least, Felicia and Tracy won’t be bored. So, we decided to go up the Pearl (Asia’s Tallest Tower, World 3rd) and see Shanghai 350m high. And later, walk under HuangPu River (Tourist Tunnel) from Pudong to the Bund. Wow, what a way to experience old-new Shanghai (from air to underground).

Guess I am not the only one meeting cousin this week. While we were having our dessert near the Pearl on Friday night, Felicia bumped into her Singapore cousin! Like Alvin, Felicia and her cousin hardly meet up in Singapore (except during CNY dinner). She was there with her hubby for the weekend! And I just found out that her cousin is also working for Ogilvy back in Singapore. So, you can imagine that kind of excitement – seeing someone you know on a foreign soil. I hate to say this but "what a small world!" Guess I was right, Shanghai is freaking small! I keep bumping into Singaporean on streets!

My life is full of strange coincidence. And I am glad these are great stories to remember by.

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