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That’s Happy Chinese New Year in mandarin. Yup, it’s not always about oranges only.

This time, it was a pretty short cny break. Not that I’m complaining but maybe another night’s stay would be a bonus.


I aimed at taking as many pictures as possibly so that this would be the most visually documented chinese new year for me. I tried. The thing is, you can’t really take lots of pictures when you’re in charge of driving the whole way back. I like driving. So just try picturing a boot full of luggage, new year cookies (baked by my sis – awesome), boxes of dialysis solution (dad’s) and shoes. Traffic was bumper to bumper and we had to get into the coastal road halfway, which was really cool cause it’s definitely more scenic than the PLUS highway.

First stop: Bak Kut Teh Lunch with Old Friends

Aunty Tan and Dad.

Aunty Tan and Dad.

Next Stop: Sitiawan

Again, I was driving. So my sis was the one happily snapping pics away. The journey was scenic – rice padi fields, kampungs and a clear view of the horizon. I remembered that an uncle of mine brought me to one of these padi fields for eel fishing. An experience it was.

45 minutes later, we hit Swiss Garden Damai Laut. Nice resort. Probably the best choice in Sitiawan town. Here’s the view from the room.


The next 3 days were just filled reunions, good food, red packets, firecrackers, warm conversations and late supper laughs at grandpa’s house.

Ah Gung's Pad.

Ah Gung's Pad.

I guess with all the comfort of city life, you really miss how simple life can be. Everything’s around the corner – kedai runcit, kedai ubat, kedai kopi; everyone knows one another and I mean EVERYONE; joyous occasions are celebrated and tough times are faced as a “family”. Most of all, I’ll miss

– hearing rubber seeds landing on roof after being “launched” from the tree

– being woken up by the chickens at 5am

– walking opposite for a plate of kanpua noodles for only RM1.50

This one is about RM2.20 and it's near the main town market.

This one is about RM2.20 and it's near the main town market.

– sitting at the side of the house and just looking at the many faces waiting at the only bus stop of the village to town

– having to hold my nose everytime i passed by the rubber sheet processing house 5 doors away

– playing firecrackers (awesome)

– riding motorcycle around the kampung without helmet or license (sssshhhhh!)

And most of all, this chinese new year, I miss my grandma. I missed having her call me to the dining table for my mee suah (she still makes the best ones), hearing her sing as she laze in the living room during the afternoon, seeing her put weird white powder on her face and of course, I miss talking to her. 


May the coming chinese new years help us remember the simple joys of life, fragility of lives and the Friend that holds it all together.


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