Thursday, February 7, 2008; 1:44 PM
A Rat's Year
I picked up the ringing phone, running through my head the many witty comebacks I would snort to the telemarketer on the line, but instead I was greeted through the receiver with a deafening blare of Chinese New Year music with gongs and cymbals and drums and little girls screaming, "Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni~!!!" followed with my mum's voice rapping calmly into the phone, "Is that you?" I could picture in my mind her sighing with one hand resignedly clasped over one ear to drown out the screeching voices of young Happy New Year singers.

I laughed, fondly remembering New Year in KL as a raucous, noisy affair, and after a short conversation with mum, she passed the phone to my grandmum, who was on the verge of grabbing the phone and hiding it down her shirt in her eagerness to hear the voice of her Australia-living granddaughter.
Grandmum greeted me with the exuberance and excitement of a 20-year old, and I greeted her back with the same amount of enthusiasm, "Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!", half-wishing that a red packet would magically sail through the air and land in my hand.

There was a tinge of dissapointment in her voice as I informed her that Bro was away at work and wouldn't be home till late, and I felt a little sad as I put the phone down. I miss celebrating New Year's with my family in Malaysia, the noise and annoyance and fights and laughter and food (oh food.) and money and new clothes and everything else in between. I think I just realized how fast we are all growing up and how much everything can change. Is it bad of me that I think of my dog and miss spending New Year's with him rather so than with my family? I've never had any celebration without my dog by my side. In a way, I am kinda relieved that I am not in KL right now, because having noisy, happy New Year's without my dog running around faithfully and excitedly around my ankles would be too much for me to bear.

Anyways, it sounds like a merry New Year back home, from what I can hear over the phone - just like every other year, and it is good. Hearing their happy voices and music over the phone fills me with a satisfied, feel-good sensation. I am happy for their happiness and right here, I too, am happy. Everything feels good! =)

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