Moments after I tweeted about how I’m hearing firecrackers going off outside and wanting to see but felt lazy to, I went downstairs anyway. It was just some children throwing sparkly hand grenades that crackle and pop. If I’m lucky, some rich uncle will shoot up a RM200 box of fireworks. No one in my family is so gung-ho about that and burn RM200? We are chinese after all and the only money we will ever burn is the paper kind. But we are not chinese enough to want to make a hell lot of noise to usher in prosperity and good fortune though.
Firecrackers are actually so very fun when the entire family is back at the grandparents’ house and the older kids will light the firecrackers while the younger ones just stare and watch because ‘they are still small’.
The last time I played firecrackers was with my cousins in Malacca and it was the year 2008. The youngest ‘kid’ among us was my brother and he was already 19. Haha and I wasn’t the oldest. It wasn’t as fun because the adults really can’t be bothered since we are adults ourselves and we should know how to be safe with the fire crackers. So we stuck it in mandarin oranges and had the orange blown into smithereens, tipped a biscuit tin over the firecrackers and blackened the ground and a few years before that, my cousin brother stuck it into the dog’s poo and not only did the damn firecracker not take off, it zipped around the garden dragging the shit with it!Â
When I was a kid, firecrackers were so fun. I had to close my ears tightly because the loud noise scared me. The only thing I was allowed to play were the sparklers and the tamer ones did not give out an array of colours. My older cousin brothers would run to the middle of the road and set the tiny firecracker canister on the ground and light it up before running away. It was so exciting to see the firecracker crackle and shoot out sparks in all directions! We were also given Pop-Pop to play with and a favourite thing to do was to put a whole bunch at the back of one of our parents’ cars and sit in fear (at the backseat) as they reverse out the gate.Â
Looking at those children screeching with laughter makes me miss having a kampung to go home to where all the family members stay for a few days. It even makes me miss Subang. Yeah, it’s terrible, I’m already back in Kedah because we don’t get one week off. 🙁
All my relatives have their own homes now and gatherings are no longer sleep overs. I want to play firecrackers and fireworks with my family too but I’m at an age where the cousin brothers who once lit the firecrackers and ran off laughing are now in their 30s and the family is devoid of young children withÂ arsonistÂ tendencies. The only child is approaching 3 years of age and would probably cry the house down if I were to play firecrackers with him. And I don’t know where to buy firecrackers!! It’s usually a naughty teenager boy’s job!
I just felt really old while crossing my arm, standing outside my rusty gate like an old neighbourhood grandma – complete with a long batik nightgown, slippers, my hair up in a bun and the house keys dangling from my hand – looking at each hand grenade being thrown dangerously near my house. I also want to play leh. 🙁