Yum Yum Yum :
by Karen King
India, 2006

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I met Cyril in 2004 through his long time friend Richard Power.  I became extremely close with Cyril when we met up in India in 2006 for 5 weeks, firstly in Varanasi and then in Goa. Many fond moments stand out for me. What I remember most about Cyril is his smile, his always happy disposition, and his passion for life.

karen and cyril

One memory in particular that I have is on Cyril’s second day in Goa.  Cyril decided to hire a moped.  We offered to show him the sites and have an adventure, Cyril could follow us as we all ready knew the place.  We drove around Goa, looking at the Portuguese churches, forts and other beautiful sites.  I remember how Cyril started off a little nervously on the moped, as there was a lot of traffic and other unusual obstacles on the roads, such as carts and cows.  After some time, I said to Richard try and get past the  next corner and we will pull in and watch Cyril go by and then follow him from behind.  So we did exactly that, laughing hard.  We pulled back onto the road and sped up behind Cyril who at this stage was looking around quite nervously, unsure of where we were.  We passed him out laughing, and he smiled back with a cheeky grin, which said, you got me and I don’t know if I liked it very much but you got me.  This expression stays with me, you too might know the expression I‘m describing.

The three of us really developed a deeper appreciation for food on that trip and I remember Cyril’s love of Chicken, a whole tandoori chicken in a restaurant called Sweet Chilli which he insisted on calling Sparks.  This was his favourite place, we ate their most nights, drinking Kingfisher beer with a slice of lime in the glass to ward off serious hangovers.

One particularly funny and bonding moment occurred after we saw an advert in the shop for an active meditation class.  Richard and Cyril were quiet reluctant at first to try it out, but after much deliberation, there the 3 of us were, with another German girl on the top of a roof, chanting, and throwing our bodies around the open space.  At first, we struggled to keep the laughter in, and caught a few fierce looks from the instructor.  We were advised to close our eyes and chant anything that came into our mind, I remember “yum, yum ,yum” being chanted out loud beside me, as the smells of the kitchen caught our senses.  It was a hilarious and surreal experience, special to the three of us and much of a topic of conversation afterwards.


On Cyril’s last trip to Ireland, the three of us wanted to recreate those special moments that we had while fine dining.  The three of us went into a Greek restaurant in Malahide called the Grecko.  It was like old times, we laughed, enjoyed the food and even a little charades was thrown in that night.  We met up with everyone else in the Country Club for drinks afterwards enjoying pictures from his phone, stories of Bangkok and the beautiful children he taught and how he was greeted every morning by little children shouting at the top of their lungs “Good morning Teacher”.  He spoke of how he loved to people watch in the Co San road, as he sat enjoying a quiet pint watching the new arrival of backpackers, observing their experiences for the very first time, Cyril loved and appreciated people for who they were.  This was the very last time I saw Cyril in the Country Club.  I clearly remember his open, warm hug as we parted and said our goodbyes, and of course his smile.


The Cyril Duncan Siam Children's Foundation is a Registered Charity in Ireland
Reference Number: CHY 18363

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