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My wife's grandpa is a gangster!

Hehe.. Sounds like a movie title but its true. My wife's family is actually in Keng Tung (Shan state of Myanmar). A lot of politcal refugees came from Myanmar in Maesai. Anyway, I will write more about her story in another post.

Her grandpa (mum's side) is now an old and religious man. Very very religious and quiet old man. Every morning and evening on the dot will pray in front of our family altar. He is around 78 years old now, can be plue minus 2-3 years older or less as they do not have birth certificate then. Although he is a bit senile, he's still very dilligent in his daily prayers. Physically, he is quite fit for his age and he always dress himself very well when in front of guest. He is also consider tall among Thai people (1.78m). Very well built man.

I was curious about his faith and his life. So I asked my wife about it.
My wife then proceeded to tell me about stories about grandpa which she heard bit and pieces from her aunt and mum. What an amazing life!

When granpa was 18 years old, the family was so poor that they could not afford proper clothes. In thai tribal customs, wearing clean and neat clothes mean you are good(very materialistic and face value). So naturally, her grandpa was not liked by most common people. His father had died of opium overdose (very rampant in those days) and his mum is the sole bread winner for the family of 6. Grandpa was the eldest of them and was still looking for a proper job to help ease the family's financial issues.

One day, while walking along the street. He was looking at a shop selling stuff and the owner chased him away (as he was not well dressed). On that day, he changed. He actually borrowed a parang from someone(not really a parang but more like a sycth) and proceeded to rob the shop. His first robbery.

He brought the money back to his mum and told her that don't worry about money and proceeded to rob more people. People starts to be afraid of him as he was very big in size and has a very serious face. He also gets into fights but normally is the winner. So after a few years, he actually became famous and was shun by other gangsters in the area. There was a story that 6 hooligans were making a lot of noise at night (apparently drunk) and her grandpa just went out and stared at them. The 6 hooligans left immediately!

At one time, a failed robbery landed him in jail. My wife's mum was only 12 when that happened. At first, both my wife's grandma and mum visit him almost once per week (20km walk leh). But after a few weeks. Grandpa became very good friends with the prison wardens. He was also a very good cook and moreover he was considered a bit more rich in the prison. He actually cooked for the wardens and they actually pay him money to buy ingredients to cook. He was also allowed to leave the prison to buy the ingredients and he actually went back home one day (imagine my wife's grandma face in horror as she thought he ran out). So for his 2 year term, most of the time he was outside the prison walls...

Later in some point of time, he managed to save enough money to start a gambling den! Yes and my wife's dad was actually the manager of the den hehehe(my wife also helped out in the den when she was 6 years old leh). This continued until the death of my wife's eldest brother. Grandpa was extremely sad and became very religious.

I did ask my wife, is it because he felt guilty of his brother's death as he did a lot of bad things. My wife think that is highly possible and also, he is getting old and he kinds of regrets the things he had done in the past. Thus, he could only pray everyday to seek redemption.

Very interesting character, don't you think?

1 comment:

HH said...

It amazing that there are so many interesting stories that run in the family.