Sunday, 22 April 2012

S for Song Leng

Song Leng was waiting for him at the Guangzhou dock with her parents. 

At twenty seven, Song Leng  was well past marrying age and not a prime target for a suitor. Life as the eldest in a family of four girls left her working as apprentice to her father, a traditional dentist. The younger siblings were married off one after the other to young men in the Guangzhou province.

A chance meeting with a match maker on the look out for girls who wished to travel overseas to be married set her mother in a tizzy. "Song Leng is a clever girl and has a promising future as a traditional dentist. She is beautiful in a strong way."

The match was agreed upon and the anxious parents had to wait a full year to get some sense of whether the arrangement would be accepted.

Meanwhile Song Leng completed her apprenticeship. As a farewell and wedding present, her father gave her a complete set of dental instruments and paraphernalia to set up a surgery in her new home.

Mista Ee had spent the last five years in Malacca working hard at making a living and finding his niche in this life he had chosen. It was time to get married and start a family. The match making process was a long drawn out one, but nevertheless a well tested system even in this remote port. The monsoon season brought not only traders and goods to the shores of Malacca, but also news of a successful match.

Elated, he planned his return trip to visit his parents and most of all meet his bride. He was told her name was Song Leng. A good sturdy name. He tried to put a face to the name but it was hard. He hoped she would be good looking, clean and of course fertile. He couldn't deny he was rather wary that she was a dentist. 

"Maybe she would be too smart for me and think I am unlearned" Mista Ee speculated. "But on the plus side, she could fix my teeth for free" he grinned, exposing his discoloured teeth. "It would definitely be useful to have a dentist in the house" he thought feeling pleased with himself. 

Now that day had arrived. He had imagined this day for months. He scanned the crowd. It was impossible to guess. "But wait, her name was Song Leng which means beautiful mountain. I will look for a strong beautiful girl who is to be my wife."

His eyes landed on a tall woman with a strong jaw line and large dark eyes. Her nose was flatter and wider than he had imagined, but overall she was pleasing to the eye. He marched up confidently to her father and bowed respectfully.

"Song Leng?" he ventured. She raised her lowered eyes and smiled. He knew he had found her. 

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Love at first sight between Mista Ee and Song Leng? :) The names of your characters are wonderful. Can't wait for `T'!