Have you ever looked back on the days when you used to be about 2-3 feet tall and everyone was smiling and greeted one another especially around this period of the year? Mothers would probably at shopping centres buying new clothes for her off springs and busy making cookies. Noisy neighbourhood is flooded with lion dance during the day and the celebration continued with lavish dinner followed by dazzling fireworks.
Going to Penang island every year is a must because my grandparents are there and my dad has been taking me around to enjoy the beautiful scenery of gurney drive, not to mention the delicious char kuey teow by some infamous hawker along the streets. Playing fireworks is a must during the night because there's nothing else to do besides accompanying my family to watch TV. my cousin and I would go over to the neighbours and we will start comparing who has the biggest stack of firework. I always urge my dad to get the biggest one but he was too stern because it is too dangerous. I always enjoyed everyone's company because at this time of the year, I can be naughty as I want to be without being scolded. I used to come up with a plan where I wanted to throw stones at the neighbours dog and watch it helplessly bark. I knew I was mean but hey.... isnt this fun when you are a kid? I do get chased by dogs once in a while and ended up with scratched arms.
My granddad was the best person on earth. He knows I love lychee drink. So he would not fail to get few cans of lychee for me. Deep down, I know he loves all his grandchildren. He can only ask simple questions like " how are you and how is your studies? ". I wish I could communicate with him but all I can do is give a yes and no answer. Before we leave penang, he always reminded us on the goodness of having great education and I answered with a nod.
I wasn't so sure what this festival was all about but the only thing I cared the most was the 'red packet'. I swear that me and my brother would desperately keep the packets at the end of the day and can't wait to rip the packet to find out how much it contains. The most exciting part was I know that my family would hand me the most valuable packet and I would save it at the end of the day and slowly remove the money in it. It was like the most exciting moment of my life but I was a kid.
I used to hate house visiting because everyone would come up to me with greetings in hokkien. I tend to give the WTF face due to language barrier. In my mind, I was thinking about " how about you hand me over the red packets? ". Aunties and uncles would happily play majhong and I silently watched them at the side, trying to learn the game.
Chinese New Year was one of the days I look forward to, not because everyone can come together as a family, but because I was too keen on the red packets and fireworks. Things are not the same anymore, I dont get to see my granddad anymore. I know he is in heaven. I can't do anything to bring him back, neither can god do. I know mourning over him is not going to change anything. All I can do is to move on with life and think of ways to cherish the people I cared the most. Life is short, life is unfair but hey... aren't we grateful with what we have today? think again