The sinister side of Papa

A lecherous old man who pretends to be good Santa, The sexual abuse of young girls is on his agenda.

A lecherous old man who pretends to be good Santa,
The sexual abuse of young girls is on his agenda.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – What I was wearing.

On the day I left Sungei Besi transit camp for Australia, I wore a yellow T-shirt bought from the camp’s only grocery and sundry shop, which was run by a Chinese Malaysian couple. My shoes, jeans and travel bag all were bought with my money by ‘Papa’.

Papa was a Cantonese-speaking, Chinese-Malaysian man in his 60s who was thin, bald, agile, vivacious and quick-tongued, and insisted that the Vietnamese people called him ‘Papa’. He looked after the camp’s general store that contained goods for the refugees’ daily use: small food and drink buckets, sheets, blankets,…

I happened to know Papa when one day, on his regular walk around the camp, he visited our ‘shipping-container’ residence. All the girls and women crowded around the ‘Asian Santa Claus’. He gave each of us a packet of Nasi Lemak (Malaysian rice dish) wrapped in banana leaf. I could never forget the fragrant and rich coconut rice as well as the crispy fried anchovies, the sweet-and-sour garlic chilli sauce and the big sunny-side-up egg. Decades later, after many trips to Malaysia I could never find any Nasi Lemak that tasted so nice as the one Papa gave me that day. Maybe the pale Malaysian milk tea, the instant noodles, half-cooked soggy fried chicken, insipid and tainted steamed salted fish and other lacklustre meals that I invariably received day after day in the camp had accentuated the flavour of that dish? But wait there’s more!

After the ordination

My dress forever reminds me of the ordination. After that ordination, there were temptation, death of vocation and criminal activities.

My dress forever reminds me of the ordination. After that ordination, there were temptation, death of vocation and criminal activities.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – What I was wearing.

While de-cluttering my wardrobe, I came across a Vinnie’s dress I worn long ago. It was given to me early on in our relationship, when Sister Night was grooming me to become her ‘daughter’.

It was a long, white, knitted Spring dress with a drawstring waist. Vertical pink lines ran down the left top portion, and a pink branch of flowers on the right one. The dress brought back the memories of that long trip during a late 80s Summer.

Brother Shorty and Sister Night took turn to drive one car while Sister Cheese drove by herself in another; four Vietnamese refugee girls in my house, another Vietnamese refugee girl that Father Fatty sent and I all headed to Brisbane from Melbourne for the ordination of Brother Hippie. But wait there’s more!

After the ordination poem

image

(Quatern-style poem)

<<Story related to the poem>>

When sin visits the man of God,
Layman disguise would get a nod,
Whether it’s during day or night,
Whether it’s in or out of sight,

In places that ain’t thought as odd,
When sin visits the man of God,
He blithely leads a double life,
In it, criminal acts are rife. But wait there’s more!

The shame chair

There was a 'shame chair' in the house that I would share with other Vietnamese refugee girls. Blueberry was tied to the chair for hours...

There was a ‘shame chair’ in the house that I would share with other Vietnamese refugee girls. Blueberry was tied to the chair for hours…

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – My big secret.

I never told my friends out of shame that two men had cowardly tricked me and I narrowly escaped ‘the shame chair’ in the house I shared with other Vietnamese refugee girls. To the girls in the house, they still believed that I harboured a secret of what happended that night. But wait there’s more!

The punishment pills

Sister Night threatened to kick both Turquoise and me out if we didn't go to see a 'Doctor' with her.

Sister Night threatened to kick both Turquoise and me out if we didn’t go to see a ‘Doctor’ with her.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – My big secret.

I never told Mum and Dad and so they happily thought that I was well cared for by Sister Night; until now, it remained my biggest secret. But wait there’s more!

The serious hands of a clergy

His eyes beamed over me like spotlights, he cracked a lascivious grin and his hand grabbed my breast.

His eyes beamed over me like spotlights, he cracked a lascivious grin and his hand grabbed my breast.

Comments about this post on ABC 500 words – A test of courage.

I met Sister Night, and soon after became her favourite girl. After Father Fatty gave me a private catechism lesson, he chose Sister Night to be my godmother and I was baptised.

As study became harder as the course went on, I couldn’t find time to go out or talk with Sister anymore. I wasn’t concerned then as I thought Sister needed time for the new refugee girls; I wasn’t very sensitive to Sister Night’s maternal need of feeling needed and loved, so Sister began verbally and psychologically bullying me. When I stood up for myself, she told me to move out. I begged a priest who frequented the house to find me accommodation and thus I left the communal house to live at the residence of a Catholic order. But wait there’s more!