I was wandering around Georgetown with our little group. We were heading to a temple. While looking for it we came to the Yap family temple. I am suspicious that some of the others knew it was there. But I did not know it existed. So I went inside to have a look. There were people there but no one really spoke English. So I continued on with the others visiting the other more famous family shrines.
I changed my plans and stayed in Georgetown an extra day. This was actually a really good idea though it has stuffed up my itinerary as it gave me a day to get my travel mode back into action.
After sorting out my next day’s travel, I headed back to the Yap Temple. I asked if anyone spoke english, but not many did. One man was helpful and I explained my family history that I knew and that I wanted to learn more.
While I was wandering around taking photos, a western woman (from England) came up and explained more to me about the temple. She knew quite a bit and was very helpful about the story of the temple and it’s history.
At the end I made an offering to the taoist god Chong ‘On. This was my first ever such offering and I was feeling very good about the whole deal.
With an address I headed off to a Yap owned restaurant where there was a museum. It was called The Sire at the top end of King Street and the museum is quite impressive. They were clearly very wealthy. My grandfather did not appear on the family tree, but I was not expecting him to. I have no photos from inside the museum as they did not allow photos, but I did have an excellent and expensive meal.
So now I am looking forward even more to my meeting with the family and to learn more of the history of my branch of the family.
A sad update to the story of the Yap temple and the woman I spoke with:
“don’t go to Yap Temple anymore – actually taking them to court. Long story which I had written, but for some reason, it didn’t get saved. I can’t be bothered repeating it all, I am sick to death of the crazy behaviour, I now spend all my days in at the WCC – doing fantastic work. Setting up a home base in Thailand (keeping the Penang one as well) and will be helping in Cambodia – fighting Child trafficking, abuse etc, setting up a refuge in Laos, and returning to Penang when necessary to continue with WCC and appear in court. I am going nowhere, don’t care if it takes 3 years to settle, even longer, I have all the time in the world. I am a person of high standards, when I am right I am right, when I am wrong I apologise. I have nothing to apologise for, the Yap Committee do. They were well aware of what was happening. I am sorry but I cannot figure Chinese thinking – I am put off by Chinese people now – quite frankly. Particularly very rich ones, who seem to think that you will do whatever they wish because of their money – NOT THIS LITTLE CHICK. The Chew clan have also adopted me, really taken me into their hearts. Much more straight forward people, honest hardworking fisherman. They revere me, love me, just as the Yaps did, but in a straight forward, no nonsense way.”