Aunty Van’s kids (Phamly Reunion)

by - December 07, 2017

Aunty Van is Dad Pham’s late sister. I wish we’d had the chance to reunite because she loved us dearly when we were tiny tots. I think she'd be happy to see us all grown up. She used to play tug-of-war with Mum Pham and Aunty 9 back in the day. Aunty Van happened to live in the same building as Aunty 9 but a few levels higher. So Mum Pham would come to visit her sister on the lower level, then Dad Pham would visit his sister on the upper level. Mum would go up and get us from Aunty Van's house, then a little while later Aunty Van would send her daughters down to retrieve us, then Mum would go back up and get us.

Aunty Van bathed us every week as kids. I always thought that a little strange but never questioned it. It wasn't until we went to our old house we learned that when our Phamly first moved in there was no heated water so mum used to have to boil water on the stove to bathe us. But it was difficult with three young kids so we bathed at our aunties house. Later heating and hot water were installed but Dad was tight with the moneys - he was still saving and sending money back home - so we all had coughs and colds when we were tiny tots. Brisbane would have been such a stark change from the German weather.

Aunty Van's kids include the Long Lost German Cousin (Anh D) who I connected with on Facebook a couple of years back. Yes! We finally got to meet him and hug him and learn about his time with The Phamly in Germany. Anh D and his sisters Chi N & Chi G all took time off work to come and meet us in our hometown because they are living legends. He brought his whole family along too so we got to see how his life turned out.

Our cousins took us back to our old apartment near the town centre. While we were hovering outside the main door, a lady entered the building and after our cousins explained that we were visiting from the other side of the world and used to live here, she kindly let us in to have a look around. I made Little Sissy Pham pose at the base of the stairs she tumbled down as a kid - Mum loved that story. She put Little Sissy down while she locked the door, next minute she turns around and her 2 year old is rolling down the stairs - Mum has a panic attack of course but Little Sissy just stands up like nothing has happened ‘cause she’s all rugged up in so many winter layers.

I wish Big Brother Pham could have come with us - maybe for the next trip over. He is four years older than me and old enough to remember Germany and our cousins. Anh D told us how hectic Big Bro used to be as a kid - always hyper and running around and jumping on sofas and beds. He used to drive Anh D's dad insane because his dad was super strict and children were to be seen, not heard. Whereas Mum & Dad Pham let us run amok our whole lives, only guiding us if we ever went food far but really it's their fault I have such an independent and stubborn streak - no rules for me! Hopefully Anh D comes to Australia once his kids are older and we can show him the same hospitality.


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