the bus trip from kuala lumpur to ipoh took five hours, we expected three. this is the eve of chinese new year and it is the big event of a two week period of festivity, all the people who work in the city and go home to regional places for holidays are on the road and you sure can tell.
we arrived in ipoh to be picked up by a brother-in-law who has been away working. i haven't seen H in 14 years, during which time he has fought and survived liver cancer. he greets me warmly and i feel compelled to kiss him, unheard of in this undemonstrative family but i hope that his years in toronto have accustomed him to the strange ways of the gwai-lo. (white ghost )
a quick walk down the street to find a toilet means we can all breathe a little easier and then it's time to go "home"
we arrive only an hour or so before the new year dinner and as everyone gets reacquainted another brother -in-law appears. exotic substances and mental illness conspire to make him seem absent but my language barrier means that i spend more time observing than usual and i think i can see the man, i think i can see a great depth of pain and i wonder just what his truth is.
dinner time arrives and we eat barbecue pork, duck, chicken, fish, vegetables and rice.
morning comes and we eat another full meal. in the spirit of making things clean for new year today is to be vegetarian. there are vegetables and rice and a large assortment of tofu items made to resemble meat or seafood.....
and i end it here, after breakfast, because i have photos for the next bit but i dont want to upload them now :)