i finally met my uncle for the second time in my life, and it really stunned me how much we are alike. he is one of the coolest relatives i have, i think, despite his bad track record. somewhat una pecora nera, but i like him the best anyway.
1. he has a huge dvd collection up on his wall, which i wanted to go see to see what movies we’d both watched. he wanted us to go see avatar with him tomorrow but then we were flying back to york.
2. he works as a chef in an indonesian restaurant in rotterdam. i didn’t know that! my family produces all kinds (loafer, chef, draughtsman, medium, feudal lord’s playboy son, etc. etc. it’s all quite colourful and probably lurid.) wanted to try his restaurant but its closed for a short holiday.. so he took us all to a chinese restaurant and ordered basically everything on the menu. O_o
3. he was super direct about everything. first question he asked me: do you have a boyfriend? (fyi that’s only the SECOND time i’ve met him in my entire life because he can’t be bothered to go back to singapore and i asked my cousin why and he overheard and said v. unrepentantly: “no money.” lol. but like he cares that we’re not that close he wants to know if i have a boyfriend so he will ask and i shall answer out of deference. there is no such word as ‘privacy’ in the italian language because the concept simply doesn’t exist and apparently it doesn’t in canto either) i told him i didn’t and then my cousin decided to get in on this exciting conversation and asked me why, were there no nice boys in my school? and i laughed in her face and told her the contrary was true there were too many nice boys in my school v. difficult to choose. (okay not really but we were all talking a lot of rubbish at this point)
4. he spends most of his time in the casino. used to play something.. not sure what it was. poker? maybe? then he stopped and now just hangs out there with his friends. i wanted to go see this famous casino where my uncle has spent the greater part of his life and he wanted to take us in there to 兜风 but ms and i forgot our IDs coz we are noobs and we didn’t remember that you needed ID to get in.
so this trip was all very actualising for me, where i discovered my roots and the relative i’m most like. like an orphan discovering her parents. i am nothing like mine. but my uncle! gambling, indiscriminate, excessive dvd watching to the exclusion of a social life, cooking/eating.. and that marvellous directness! if i weren’t a christian i would totally become him. walk down that same road. hang out in a casino with a wall of dvds at home.
disillusioned in arcueil but still pottering on,
he is satie with the twelve brown coats.