28 January 2006

My Chinese New Year memories

Chinese New Year ... the time when spring returns, when warmth takes over the bitter cold of winter ... when families flock together again after a year apart, when acquantances are renewed and friendships reaffirmed.

My Chinese New Years are normally spent with family, and I normally appreciate the refuge and solace a long holiday affords me.

Here's a quick flashback at the Chinese New Years, then and now ...

My first memories of CNY center around the really fun and adventurous journey home from our Puchong home to my dad's hometown in Malim Nawar, Perak. Malim Nawar is just south of Ipoh, if you take the KTM train from KL, it is the last stop before Ipoh.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had first dibs on the passenger seat on my car's old Datsun 120Y, where I get to play 'co-pilot' on the way back to my grandparent's place. Dad always asked me for directions, although he knew perfectly how to get home. And I'd always be looking out for signboards, and tell him how far we are from grandma's. (My grandpa died when I was very young, so I had very few memories of him). In those days, signboards are few and far in between, so I'd be looking out for marker stones. They are really rare nowadays.

In those days, you really travel the tough way. There was no North South Highway, so you took single lane roads almost all the way from KL to Ipoh. Overtaking was hard, and difficult, but bless those lorry drivers who gave us signals when the road ahead was clear for overtaking.

We'd always leave in the wee hours of CNY eve, and reach grandma's place just around lunch time, sometimes later, depending on traffic. Once there, we would meet up with the rest of the clan (we're not very close - there's some history in that ...) and have the reunion dinner. Then, we'd leave for home the same night.

In the past, we'd always have a ceremony welcoming the God of Prosperity home at the stroke of midnight on CNY, followed by the compulsory firecrackers. And I'd get a HUUUUUUGE angpow. God bless my parents for that :)

We'd do that year after year, until grandma passed away some years back. Since then, CNY has been at home mostly.

One time, we actually visited my other grandma (maternal grandma) at Kluang, Johor. And since we were all the way in Johor already, we took the short hop over to Singapore. That remains the only holiday overseas where the whole family was present. My parents have a thing against all of us flying together. I can't remember the ocassion, but it was probably to coincide with my grandma's 60th birthday, methinks.

We stayed at an aunt's place, went to the requisite Singapore attractions, Sentosa, Haw Par village, Mt Faber, Orchard Road, Chinatown and East Coast Park. It was still one of the more memorable Chinese New Year.

Last year, I took my mum for her first ever aeroplane experience ... we went to Bangkok for a holiday. I was working in Bangkok, she had never taken any holidays, always trying to save money for us, so I told her how much I was earning (for the first time EVAR), her eyeballs fell out, and she came with me to Bangkok.

I hope I showed her a good time. Short of a foot massage, she tried everything there was to try ... and saw everything there was to see. Her stamina surprised me - she actually had more legs in her than a certain Fern Taylor (you hear me, Fern ?). We did the touristy circuit - Grand Palace (Wat Phra Keow), Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), Wat Po (Reclining Buddha), Royal Barges museum visit, shopping at Chatuchak, visiting the shopping districts near Siam Square and MBK.

This year, aiya, I'm expecting pandemonium ... hell should be breaking loose ... I'm having an open house ... *sheesh* ... let's hope insurance will cover the damages ... *praying* ...

What's your favourite CNY memories ?


Wingz said...

kung hei fatt choy !!!

moz monster said...

wingz ... kung hei fatt tai choy to you as well !!! ur invited.

fern taylor said...

That's a low blow, Moz ... ur mum does taichi, I just do big macs ...

moz monster said...

Fern !!! Howdy, brudder !!

Big Macs or not, my momma still got more legs than you - and you know that. :P