31 March 2008

Postmen in the Mountains

Yesterday I finished watching the Chinese movie Postmen in the Mountains. I try to watch Chinese movies every now and then to learn a word or two. In Chinese, the movie name is "那山那人那狗", literally meaning "That Mountain, That Man, That Dog". To me, that sounds more like a palindrome than a heartfelt movie. A palindrome is a word or sentence that spells the same backward or forward, with punctuations and spaces ignored, such as BOB or "Wonton? Not now." One of the long palindrome I know is "A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama."

The mountain in the title refers to the mountainous route that a mailman makes. His faithful shepherd dog accompanied him on the route. The man had retired and his young son took over his work. For one last time, he delivered mail and showed his son the different aspects of the job. The work involved long trips on foot, over many days, through the various villages in the mountains. Along the way, father and son developed a better relationship.

It is a good father-and-son movie. I cannot help thought about my own relationship with my father, then between me and my Son. In one scene, as the pair passed a road with a bus moving on it, the son remarked that it was so unnecessary to go on foot. He could have paid for that section of the trip. The father disagreed vehemently and told the son to stick to his route. Ah, the younger generation, always looking for the newer, better things. I used to think my father didn't know enough. There is a tennis center near my house. In warm weather it is not covered, but during the winter it's covered up. I thought my father wouldn't recognize the covered court and asked him about it. He was upset that I had to even ask him and correctly pointed out that it was just the tennis court covered up.

In the movie, the older postman didn't spend enough time with his son. He wasn't even home when the son was born. He would buy his son gifts on his return trips, but then he would disappear for days, walking the mail route through all those mountain villages. In the end, his son understood his father's job, and the man, better. I think love can be a supply/demand thing like economics. If there's too much of it, it's taken for granted. I know some nieces and nephews whose fathers don't spend that much time with them. Yet, they seem to love their fathers more. Whenever the fathers are home, the kids would try to spend time with them. In my case, I think I spend more than enough time with my Son already. He doesn't seem to appreciate me as much as I think he should. If there's a light-hearted "fight" between me and Mommy, he would side with Mommy. Some nights he would beg to sleep with Mommy. Just my random ruminations, really, as I still want to spend lots of time with my Son.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:46 PM

    Spend all the time u can with Son. You are a real man.. My dad worked all of the time and we never saw him, my biological dad took off when I was 1 month after conception so I know a bad dad when I see one. I will never be a computer wiz or a script wiz, but Im a good dad, I spend almost everywaking hour with my kids and know all the games and cartoons they watch. I have a brother that ignores his kids like our dad ignored us, well they are constantly trying to get his attention and affection just like my brother still does with our father. Life is short and you could be dead tomorrow, especially since you liked that creepy old mans hand..Make your free time worth it.