Friday, February 10, 2006

Of prosperity, 21 and Ngah Ibrahim, anyone?

I've always loved going back to Penang. Part of the excitement lies in the journey there itself, especially when I was younger, where trips to anywhere out of Klang bring such joy and trepidation that Chinese New Year is the holiday I count down to, throughout the year. Travelling on a train that rumbles rhythmically and sways ever so slightly brings such romantic notions that it doesn't matter that it took more than 8 hours to reach there. Hazy memories of watching steaming hot Milo swishing around in my polystyrene cup on the train canteen table and sneaky trips to buy junkfood while my parents slept and vistas of paddy fields are etched in me.
Now that I'm older, things start to get repetitious and one year seems like the last but the charm of family bondage is too strong to resist.
How was this year's then?
A picture speaks a thousand words, so they say, which is just as well!

Warning : Description below may be a tad cliched therefore truly interested or bored people need scroll down. Everyone else, look at pictures la har.

Alritey then.
My family's reunion dinner has always been steamboat. This year, due to us being back only on the eve, My mom and I didn't really help out as much.. :Þ
We had 3 tables for family and guests..
This is for the 'men' aka prim and proper table.

This is known as the ladies or 'couldn't-care-less-chuck-all-the-food-inside-stuff-yourself-silly-coz-no one's looking' table. (Note : hungry mom trying to make the soup boil faster by staring at it )

When tummies are all filled up, let the gambling games begin! Lost this year. Shucks..!

First day is of course filled with the excitement of wearing new clothes.

And finding out what everyone else is wearing.

and of course, angpows.

My aunt would make this absolutely delicious, not to mention sweet dessert thingy each year for us to eat first thing in the morning. It has gingko bilobas, nuts and erm..something la.

Off we'll go to congregrate at another aunt's house before starting the day's journey of visiting. The numbers of houses to visit dwindles over the years as elders passed on and children dispersed. Like seeds.

On the 2nd day, a lion troop would come over to my unc/aunt's house. Dog Dog Chiang!

The lion's high on Ecstasy. Ha.

"Must. reach. the. vegetable. though. I. eat. meat. Must. Not. Fall."

The next few days were spent going round town, eating, visiting and eating (X5). Thus, prosperity kicked in. Managed to visit Khoo Kongsi.

Beautiful exterior and beautiful interior.

We dropped by Taiping for a day trip. My father spent the first few years of his life there. They lived in Kuala Sepetang (formerly Port Weld : History: The first railway track was built there ) where my grandfather was a Stationmaster. He struck up a conversation with a guy at the port.

"Ah so-and-so still here ar?"

"Remember Ah B? His sister came back from Australia!"

"Ah C and family still live over at the shophouses..."

In Hokkien la.

See that man? He's actually washing 'sea ham' ( as in cockles, Not slices of ham found in the ocean, mind you!)

Ironic that my dad came from the Port to another Port; Port Klang, that is.

Went over to Ngah Ibrahim's house too, which was converted into a museum. Remember him? Conspired with Dato' Maharaja Lela for the killing of J.W.W.Birch. Remember? Masih ingat sejarah? Oh, nvm. This is his house. And yes, we were the only visitors there.

Surprisingly, it was quite fun.

Friday was spent traipsing around Penang buying stuff to take back home. Our car was more packed then when we left for Penang. 'Nuff said.

The day to go home to P.Klg came too soon for comfort. Images of work looms ahead but images of friends soften the blows. Thank goodness for visitings on Sat, Sun and makan on Monday to prevent me from bawling my eyes out and sulking over work at home. For that, I'm grateful.

Can someone print the wise words

" I complained of having no shoes til I saw a man with no feet" on my forehead?

On 2nd thought, don't. I won't be able to see it anyways.

How was your new year's?

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