It's terrible to hear firecrackers in broad daylight. And as they're lit in the same building where my pigeon hole is located, it's a living nightmare. I'd never know when the next firecracker will be lit.
Sure, the government has banned firecrackers. Yet people still managed to smuggle some horrible ones into the country. And it's us law-abiding citizens who become the victims when they're lit at any time of the day. It's fine with me if they're lit at night because that's tradition. According to Chinese tradition, firecrackers are lit to scare away the ghosts and evil spirits. But lit in broad daylight? To give somebody a heart attack and help him become a vengeful ghost?
The problem about living in multi-racial Malaysia, one can never be sure who actually celebrates a festival anymore. Every Hari Raya, almost everyone- Malays, Chinese,Indians, Muslims and nonMuslims all go "balik-kampung" or return to their hometowns. The highways and roads are jammed with vehicles. Come Deepavali, it's another round of 'balik kampung". Now with today being Friday and at least 4 days of public holidays in Malaysia (1st & 2nd day of Chinese New Year are public holidays here) the roads are jammed again with the 'balik kampung" exodus.
The same goes for those lighting the firecrackers. The culprits will buy them to wage war against other groups of players. During Chinese New Year, one might see Malays lighting the firecrackers together with the Chinese. During Hari Raya, some Hindu children will also light them for fun. Who lights the loudest 'bomb' or the most spectacular fireworks will be the unofficial winner. What a waste of money actually but tell it to them, and they'd laugh at you. Ironically, when police fine the culprits, one can hear the same group of people lighting another pile of firecrackers once the police are out of sight, hahahaa..
Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate and happy "balik kampung" to those who will be returning to their loved ones. Drive carefully and have a pleasant weekend.
Despite a very busy week, I've managed to prepare a traditional Chinese biscuit which is famous in my hometown. I bought the special dough and after some delicate cutting and weaving, I deep-fried them and here's the result. Yes, it's halal as it's made of flour, some salt and some sugar. The Malays have a version of it but we Chinese weave them before frying. It's called 'kuih riben' or "tai kan san" in my local dialect. Chinese Kedahans and Penangites will recognise this biscuit. It's crunchy and suitable for tea-time, taken with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
InsyaAllah, I'll be preparing some traditional food this Chinese New Year. Minus the pork dishes, there're still a few that I can cook for my table.. that too, if I feel up to it..