Me: Oma, I want to talk. I’m leaving on an overseas trip next week. Here, I will mark the dates on your calendar as a reminder. I will go on this date [*scribbles departure date on calendar*], and I will come back on this date… [*scribbles return date on calendar*].
Oma: *takes awhile to think* Okay, now how long would that be?
Me: Just about over two weeks, Oma.
Oma: That’s so long! Are you going to do “business” there or something?
Me: No it’s a holiday, Oma.
Oma: You mean you go on those TOURS, right? Pakansi?
(I’m sorry I can’t translate pakansi into an appropriate outdated English equivalent)
Me: I’m going my own way, Oma, no tours.
Oma: Okay, I see… Because Opa and me, when we go overseas… we went on tours.
Me: I know Oma, but this time I’m not going on one…
(cut to a few hours later, dinnertime)
Oma: Are you on a tour?
Me: Excuse me??
Oma: You said you are going overseas, on a tour?
Me: No no, I’m going on my own. I don’t wanna join ANY tours…
Oma: Isn’t it hard to go on your own, with no one to show you places and things?
Me: That’s the way young people do it these days, Oma.
Oma: Please don’t forget to bring medicines with you.
Me: Okay I will…
Oma: Where are you going again? One country or many places?
Me: I’m going to Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia, Oma.
Oma: Aren’t you afraid to get lost, etc
Me: These days it’s much easier to get information, Oma. I already researched before the trip and it’s gonna be okay.
Oma: But don’t you need to go on a tour. What if you don’t understand the language.
Me: Everyone knows English these days, Oma. It will be fine…
Oma: I used to go to a lot of tours… To China, Europe, America…
Me: I prefer going on my own, because with tours they always rush you, and also you can’t choose what you eat… Tours are more for families, Oma.
Oma: But it’s more safe on a tour… (silence) …How many people will be with you on this trip?
Me: I’m going with a friend, Oma. (I had to lie, if I said I was going to do a solo trip, she would probably worry and lose sleep over it!)
Oma: Oh, that’s good, I thought you were gonna go alone… (she does know that I’m an adventurous sort of girl)
Me: It’s OK, also I’ve been there Oma. This won’t be the first time. (Fact: I’ve never been to Cambodia, like ever!)
Oma: *thinks very long and hard* …Thailand is Siam, right?
Me: Yes it is.
(silence for about 5 minutes as I sat cleaning my Doc Martens and Oma watched me quietly)
Oma: In Rome they have a lot of pickpockets!
(Wow, Rome is so notorious even my 87 year old grandma knows about it)
Me: That’s right Oma…
Oma: …Also, please don’t forget to bring medicines with you
Me: Okay I will bring medicines with me
Oma: Your aunty Linda is going to Europe. I thought you are also going to Europe alone, so I was worried about you.
Me: No, Oma. Not to Europe. But I would love to, one day.
Oma: Yes. In Rome they have a lot of pickpockets!
Me: Yes they do… But I’m not going to Rome so it’s OK…
Oma: Please prepare medicines before you go…
(Gotta be honest, this worrying about drugs thing have just started to rub on me a bit, sorry Oma!)
Me: Don’t worry about that, Oma. Look… I’m healthy so I don’t need a lot of drugs… but of course I will take some with me!
Oma: What if you get sick on the trip??
Me: I’m young (yeah right) and healthy, and if I ever get sick, there’s gonna be drugstores everywhere so it’s gonna be fine, Oma…
Oma: At least bring some headache and cold pills…
Me: I will, Oma. In fact I always carry migraine pills with me everyday. (truth!) Also I still have a week to prepare for the trip…
Oma: …But at least bring some drugs… Just in case
Me: Sure, Oma. I will!
Oma: They say Rome has a lot of pickpockets…
Me: Yes, I know Oma… xdddd
(I will end this post with pictures of Oma’s trip to Rome. God bless her!)
Yes, that’s Oma in Rome… : )
Oma at the Colloseum!
The whole Vaya Europe Holiday Tour ’82 bunch. Oma and Opa were somewhere in there.
Oma and Opa in front of some Ristorante! (Rrrristorante. That word has a nice ring to it…)
Opa took quite a lot of photographs and related newspaper clippings, too… He used a manual film camera and was pretty good at it!
Opa paid such attention to details that he even included the names of all the hotels they stayed in, on the albums, done neatly with a typewriter! … Now I know where my OCD-like obsession over details came from. RIP Opa.
Done with Italy, here’s Oma arriving in Lourdes, France. Look at those nuns alighting the aircraft! You were right, Oma. Going on tours seemed so much fun back in the days!
(Pictures were taken from Oma & Opa’s Europe trip album on June 1982. I’m sorry Oma for nabbing your precious albums without permission… but they’re just so lovely and I was so curious on what made you think (reminisce) about Rome so much.)
(No grading or post-processing was done on these photos. They’ve naturally yellowed over time, just like those trendy Instagram filters!)