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aries1988 : telephone   1

My Father, the YouTube Star

As a child who immigrated from Hong Kong, I was raised as an American during the day and Chinese after school. I brought home Western ideas that confounded my parents: sarcasm, irony, recalcitrance.

Our relationship reached a plateau of cordial indifference: We lived 2,000 miles apart and talked on the phone once a week about nothing important at all.

The videos are earnest and adorably cheese-ball, bearing the production tropes of ’80s VHS: There are spinning wipe effects, gratuitous zooms, saccharine background music.

Watching through nearly two dozen more videos, I realized every single dish had been served in my childhood home. Macau-style Portuguese coconut chicken. Pan-fried turnip cake. Sweet-and-sour pork. This time, the wave of nostalgia washed over me: I was 12 again, sitting at the kitchen table, my family’s mouths too preoccupied to squabble.

The only thing your mom had left was the memory of her taste. We’re afraid that if you wanted to eat your childhood dishes, and one day we’re both no longer around, you wouldn’t know how to cook it.
parents  distance  telephone  family  food  usa  gaijin  memory  record  video  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988

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