BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 5)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

NOVEMBER 22, 2017: OVER AND OUT.

Trina, the girl I married, called this morning to express her displeasure at being mentioned in the autobiography being written and published as a blog on social media. But, why, I asked? I had only written about her with the utmost respect. About being the wonderful human being I was fortunate enough to have met, the girl with whom I fell in love for all the right reasons, married for richer or poorer and with whom we had a beautiful daughter. But, she didn’t want her nor her daughter mentioned on “the Internet”.

Her reaction was disappointing. Extremely disappointing. And once people disappoint me, there’s no point in keeping up false pretences and holding hopes for any kind of reconciliation.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 4)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The Hong Kong Ding Dongs

There was a summer of change ahead. Kids who had left Hong Kong were back for a few months, there were newcomers to the city, Cat Street, the coffee shop at the Hong Kong Hilton, was the place to meet at night with afternoons usually spent hanging out at the restaurant at Dairy Farm. There was a great deal of hanging out…and just plain hanging in there.

My best friend Steve was dating a number of older girls who were mainly in local bands until settling for Irene Ryder, below, a stunning Eurasian Go Go dancer and later a popular singer before her life went through a number of bizarre twists and turns.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 2)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

My family arrived in Hong Kong in 1958 after over two weeks by ship where my father spent most of the time in our cabin with seasickness while I played shuffleboard with my mother and a group of Italian priests. It wasn’t exactly The Love Boat.

What was awaiting us in Hong Kong? Nothing. With only very little life savings, there was no option but to live with my father’s eldest sister Primrose, her Portuguese husband Gustavo, my grandmother and family matriarch Hilda and cousin Suzanne in a tiny apartment. It was hardly The Brady Bunch and nothing like the wide open spaces of Ceylon, but beggars can never be choosers.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 1)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The first memories of my mother was Podhi. Podhi was the servant “designated” to me. She fed me, bathed me, took me to kindergarten, sheltered me from bullies, cleaned my backside, and being an only child, she was my one play friend.

She played marbles with me, put up with my temper tantrums, and looked after our stray cats and dogs. She was more than a mother and it was extremely emotional seeing her when visiting for the first time what had become Sri Lanka in over twenty years, locating her. and her touching my face, looking me in the eye, and remembering her “baby”.

Her much younger and buxom niece Alice cooked for the family and apart from the visits to the house by my father’s younger brother Uncle George whom I adored as he was tough- played professional rugby and cricket, lifted weights and could handle himself in a fight- and listening to my godfather play piano in a way that made Liberace seem manly- this was pretty much the framework of growing up as the only child- a Dutch Burgher which meant a mixture of Dutch, Portuguese ancestry intermingled with something rarely mentioned- marriages with the local inhabitants- in what was then called Ceylon.

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