His name is Jason Chin, a 32 year-old business lecturer in Hong Kong, and been there for 2 years now and happy because that means he’s able to travel to some parts of the world that he’s never been, the South East Asia part.
Well, he was born and raised in London and been to a lot of places. But one person he never forgets to take when he goes traveling is his 76-year-old dad, Mr. Chin.
Mr. Chin lost his wife 4 years ago out of the blue. His spouse was singing in church when she suddenly sat and laid down unconsciously. When the ambulance came, it was too late. She was gone.
Mr. Chin described her as the best woman in the world. One who was very kindhearted, supportive and never got angry to anyone. Not to her 3 sons, not to him.
“So, you never had an argument?” I asked curiously.
“We did” he replied. “But whenever I started to get angry, she would walk out of the room and stayed away from me. 30 minutes later, she’d come back and you know what she always did the first thing after she saw me again?”
I waited for his story to continue while picturing the scene.
“She would kiss me on the cheek. Every time.” he answered while stopping his steps for a while.
He told me this story as we went down from the National Monument. I chose to walk with Mr. Chin instead of Jason because I noticed he had a lot of stories to share. Unfortunately, we only had the chance to go to the goblet of the National Monument and not to the observation deck because it was Saturday afternoon and that meant, long queue to go up. So, again, never go to the National Monument on weekend if you wanna see Jakarta’s skyline. Unless, you wanna wait for 3 hour long.
“Where have you been? We’ve waited for like 15 minutes”, Jason teased us smiling while waiting under his umbrella with my friend whom I always conduct tours with, Candha.
“The thing is Jason, your dad has a fascinating story. I can’t help but being curious”, I replied and Mr. Chin just smiled.
Mr. Chin was born in Jamaica from a poor family, but he and his brother were sent to China for 2 years to study.
“That was the most terrible years of my life” he added.
And shockingly the officials didn’t let him out of the country when they decided to return to Jamaica. Things changed when his brother wrote to the Queen to complain and (by good luck) got a response. The queen demanded anyone who held commonwealth passport to be able to go in and out China and there was no reason the officials held them in the country. I was amazed when Mr. Chin said that the queen actually replied his brother letter.
“I think he still keeps the letter somewhere”, he responded to my amazement.
We finally got into our car to continue our Jakarta Half Day Tour ,that Jason booked few weeks earlier, to visit The Grand Mosque when the clouds got darker and the rain started to pour.
Jakarta’s weather was unpredictable in beginning of April. Sometimes it was steaming hot, the other times, it was pouring rain.
“This is like Hong Kong. When it rains, it pours” said Jason.
“Not like London that continues drizzly all day without any thunder”, Mr. Chin added.
At the beginning, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to visit a lot of spots in Jakarta because Jason asked to be picked up at 1 pm at Le Meridien Hotel, even after I told him that most of main attractions in Jakarta, like museums, close at 3 pm. But he insisted to have an afternoon tour instead of going in the morning, later I found out that it was because he knew his dad’s habit to wake up late due to his inability to sleep early at night.
So, he prepared this trip for his dad.
“It’s so nice of you to take your dad traveling”, I complemented Jason one time outside Cafe Batavia while we were waiting for Mr. Chin in the toilet after an afternoon break in Jakarta’s old town because Mr. Chin mentioned that it was Jason, his youngest son, who always took him on a trip every time he can, whether it was him visiting his dad or Mr. Chin visiting Jason. It turned out that Hong Kong has several long holidays like Christmas, Chinese New Year, even Easter that make them able to go traveling.
“Yeah, after my mom passed away 4 years ago, I just want to make him happy. I want him to see a lot of places, experience different culture, cause I know that’d make him happy”, he replied with his infectious smile.