Friday, February 04, 2005

Raise The Red Lanterns

You can hear Chinese New Year coming way before the red hits you.

You could be miles away from Petaling Street, tucked away safely in the suburbs, in the aisles of Jaya Jusco, mundanely picking out your weekly Gardenia loaf when 'bang'!

"Xing Lian Dao, Xing Lan Dao.....!"

The sound system of the supermarket practically explodes with the season's favourite renditon of Happy New Year. Firecrackers crackle in the background. Gongs clash. And so do my eardrums.

Closer to Chinatown, the setting gets scarier. Any kiong si would run a mile than be sandwiched between 2000 Chinese in red and 400 waxed ducks, speakers blaring.

I for one, couldn't keep away and am already planning a weekend strolling (more like fighting the crowds) through Chinatown, buying a hyacinth plant or two and checking out the other merchandise. It's comforting to be once again, among the roasting chestnuts and the fake bling bling Dior watches.

It's good to be back.