Gong Xi Fa Chai
Chinese New Year has always been a time of fun for me. Back when I was living in KK (1997-2003) it has always been a time for friends. CNY Eve would be spend hanging around the annual CNY night market and on the 1 day there would be a church service followed by lunch out with friends and house visiting. First Aaron (the usual driver) would pick me up – while managing to collect an angpau (red packet filled with money, standard amount would be RM2-5) from my parents – then on to pick up other friends (usually either Yappy, Anderson, Karen, Brian, Jeremy).
Then we would begin our rounds of visiting all the youth and nibbling and eating at every house. Its impolite to decline offers of food and drink. Then we’d visit most of the aunties and uncles that we knew, after usually ringing them up to be sure they were home.
It wasn’t really the money that made it enjoyable, but the company of friends, laughing, eating, telling stories and anecdotes. Those were the days.
Despite being a half-Bidayuh, half-Chinese, I’m not fluent in Cantonese (which is the dialect my mom speaks) or Hakka (which is what most ppl in KK speak). I can however pick up the general idea of what people are trying to say. Which is a shame because I should be able to speak my mother’s language.
Anyway, this year, I celebrated CNY at my mom’s hometown – Tg Malim, Perak. We left Damansara ard 4.30 pm then arrive d here in about an hour or so. Saw 2 accidents on the way within 10 KM of each other. Tsk tsk..drivers these days.
Got back, ate a little bit then went promptly to the room to sleep (read : hide & pass time) because there’s nothing to do and no one attempts to speak to us in something other than Cantonese so I might as well take a nap after I type this. Zzzzz