I began my weekend visit to the Parents Chan by riding a series of commuter trains up to Connecticut with the Princeton Madam (not her real nickname… yet!), 2 bottles of red and a cheap corkscrew. Sadly for the commuters, the quiet reading car was the only one with room for us. Amidst the sombre library quiet of paperback pages turning, our styrofoam cups did a poor job of concealing what we were doing. After a while, we didn’t hear any pages turning. I’d like to think that meant we were saying (yelling?) some pretty interesting stuff. Or at least cursing in a fun enough way. Pros that we were, the Princeton Madam and I finished our first bottle of wine just before we had to switch trains. We congratulated ourselves as we deposited the bag with empty bottle into a recyclables bin on the platform. Remember those shape-sorting toys for babies? That bin had a glass bottles hole that was perfectly shaped for a wine bottle. I guess if any commuter train catered to winos, it would be the Connecticut commuter train! It wasn’t until we were comfortably ensconced in our seats on the new train that we realized we had thrown the cheap corkscrew away. It had been in the bag with the first bottle. Luckily, we were part of the MacGyver generation and not to be deterred by the mere lack of real tools. Using an ingenious combo of a ballpoint pen, a tube of lip balm and a plastic bag (don’t ask), we were able to open our second bottle for the rest of our ride up to family-land before we parted ways.

At first, my parents seemed like they would be a much better influence on me. I helped the mama water and sun her potted bamboo plants, picked fresh veggies from my aunt and uncle’s amazing terraced, hanging garden and relaxed by the pool. But I quickly found out where my partying genes came from. Out at dinner the first night, my parents pulled out a flask of Remy Martin X.O. and poured it into teacups while whistling innocently. I don’t think it fooled the waiters since the air above our table was wavy from alcohol fumes, but they knew better than to question the mama and the papa! They were a teensy bit better behaved the next night since we dined at home. They did, however, bust out a fancy pants bottle of wine (so fancy the bottle came in its own sleek silver canister) which they had saved for this weekend. One glass in, we got inspired to dress up in tradish garb for dinner because a family friend had just given me a cheongsam for my birthday. My mom almost stabbed me in the head while excitedly sticking chopsticks into my hair to “decorate” me. Whoa mama! (Come on, I had to say that.)

Partying wasn’t the only thing I inherited from these crazy cats though. At the end of the day, they are both astoundingly good cooks. For the joint birthday dinner (my daddy’s and mine), mommy-pants went all out. She sauteed green beans and pale eggplants freshly plucked from the hanging garden, made simple-but-scrumptious salted fry ups of shrimp and steak and tested a new chicken with seaweed dish. Feast your eyes on the pics below. My goodness, life is beautiful!


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