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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Staying back in Penang during CNY

I am in Penang this Chinese New Year; marking the 2nd year I celebrated in Penang.
Not that it's such a misery considering the huge crowd which flocked the little island; massive traffic heading northbound and man, a huge estimation of the population crowding Penang during the season was really amazing. In fact, you see traffic jams here and there everywhere on the island....especially downtown area; massive traffic congestion.
Then I hear those Penangites complaining to me...."You KL people..." (points at all the W-car plates.....chehhh!!)

Anyway, thanks to Laydiebug bestie for the Chinese New Year wishes....guess you must be busy as I was wondering how come you didn't respond to my sms:P
That aside, I must clarify that I was not exactly a workaholic....and that was truly incidental and out of my plan....and it's a long story...but since I am at it, let me elaborate a little more.
I was supposed to take off early on last Friday; having made my travel plans beforehand.
Then my friend wanted to go back early and since I didn't want to hold back his travel plans, I told him to go ahead.
Then on Friday, I tried to inform and at the same time, seek permission/help from a colleague to cover for me as I need to leave early. However, my request was rejected and I was told to do my stuffs myself and that's how I got stranded (yeah, that's the right word!) until 7pm that night; putting a stop to all my travel and holiday plans.
Sad huh...I am not blaming anyone as it was part of my responsibility but somehow, I was just hoping that people will help out those from other states during this festive season.
Come on, it is really a once in a year thing and admit it, this IS a family affair kinda thingy and all I needed was just; compassion or consideration but anyway, this is a confusing situation.
So, ended up, I had to work the whole day and was like, almost the last person to leave the office premises and I missed every single trip back to my hometown and I had to pick up the phone to call my family to tell them I will try my best to make my own arrangements to get back home.
Sighhhhssssss.....so sad.....
I even felt awful for asking to leave early in the first place...but a friend of mine actually empathised with me;
"Why do you need to feel guilty? You had every right to request to leave early...you are not local..."
"Yeah, but it's also part of my project...."
"Well, that's what a team is for....she could've helped you out...am sure that if you guys were in the reversed position, she will do the same...AND she is a local"
"I still feel awful and bad for asking to leave"
"It's not a big deal....if she was from KL and you were a local, you think she will not ask the same of you? Will you help her if you were a local?"
"Of course I will....it's CNY...."
"Seeee....so, why are you feeling so guilty? She should be the one feeling bad about you missing your hometown trip....."

*Speechless....this coming from someone who knows her better....I still didn't feel angered by that and I still felt awful over it. However, I soon felt more awful when I had to pick up the phone to inform my poor family down in KL:(
Mum and dad worried about me although they were really shocked to hear about my predicament....and I really pitied them coz they have made all the preparations for the celebrations and also in welcoming me home to KL. Mum bought all the stuffs for reunion dinner and was happily looking forward to seeing me back at home and I really felt awful for ruining and upsetting the plans....
However, they counter proposed as they know that I am unable to find any mode of transport home and the prices will be hiked up anyway, and since my parents will eventually come up north to visit and celebrate CNY with maternal grandma (mum's mum), Dad said they will only pull forward the plan and make an early visit to Penang so that I don't have to resort to driving home (dangerous driving alone and I had a bad experience before this on the highway and am still freaked out by that incident:S )
So, that was the whole of the story........and I was feeling empty and miserable that morning when I woke up early though I continued to check my emails for responses from my US counterparts (call me a workaholic)
I was filled with mixed feelings during this season as I was excited, happy and also sad and overwhelmed with anxiety over the success of my first design project (which is now pending approval from the suppliers and will soon end its design cycle and proceed to be built in actual products:)
Anyway, I had a long wait for my family and I was so sad that day....even shopping did not cheer me up...parents finally arrived at 8pm....and we had our reunion dinner at granny's at 9pm....my latest reunion dinner ever.,...but still, I was really glad my family were here....and as my friend put it, "The fact that my family came all the way up to see me despite the last minute notice meant a lot" and I am really proud and touched to have a family like this:)
I loved you, MUmmy, Daddy and Bro....for doing this....I know it was such a pain to bear the longest Kl-Penang journey ever and getting stuck in the traffic jam for the whole day, wasting the hours like that and also going through the heavy rain and praying to arrive safely.
I am sorry to put you all through this...I pray to God that you will all be safe and right now, I thank God that you were all truly safe and sound...thank you Lord!!!
So, to all who have not been appreciating your loved ones around you, remember to take a look around and reach within your hearts and realize just how much they care for you and love you.
To me, despite all the misery and disappointments prior to the festive season, I must say this is also one of the most memorable Chinese New Year (beside the most touching and meaningful) as I truly felt and experience the real meaning of family ties and reunion...*smiles*
And we can truly empathize with those who often travelled and rushing to attend their reunion dinners....this is one experience I will never ever forget...it is priceless...and I am happy it strengthened the bond between me and my family:)
Have a wonderful, blessed and Happy Chinese New Year with your family!!!
Love and you will be loved in return:)
Gong Hei Fatt Choy!!!