Another Cai Luong quiz time! Take a guess: what do you think is the original story of this show?
A clue: People around my age should have read a passage of this great novel in their secondary school Chinese textbook.
The interview was said to start at 10.30am, but nevertheless I had to be at MediaCorp by 10am so that I could run through the questions which might be asked during the interview. I wasn’t the only one to be interviewed, as another representative from a local Cantonese opera troupe would be in the recording studio as well.
This wasn’t the first time I got interviewed, but previous interviews were pre-recorded, so I was more nervous this time round. Also, as News 938 is an English station with perhaps non-Chinese DJs, I wasn’t sure if I would be asked some funny questions which I might not have the answers to. Luckily, the atmosphere was rather relaxed in the recording studio, all thanks to the 2 DJs in the studio, Mahesha Thenabadu and Stanley Leong. However, I fumbled in my speech at various times, which I felt like banging my head against the wall. Perhaps I needed to go to the loo, and hence I wasn’t able to react well! But anyway, the interview ended in less than half an hour, which was a bit too short for me; I just got started to enjoy the interview!
It was a fun interview session, and I hope there would be another chance to go on air, as long as I am an invited guest and not a DJ! Actually, I had once dreamt of being a radio DJ, but looking at how Stanley Leong do news reporting, I don't think I would be able to make it. Stanley was reading rather fluently from a newscript with a font size of perhaps only 10, and I think if I am asked to do the same, I'd probably had to stick the newscript onto my forehead! Nevertheless, this is one interesting experience which I don't think I'd ever forget.
(A continuation of my previous post...)
To be honest, I was oblivious to the fact that Loy Krathong Festival was approaching until last Friday.
On that afternoon, on my way to work, I decided to drop by a music stall just a stone’s throw away from my office. I noticed that they had got these lotus lanterns on display at their counter, and it was only then I was reminded that Loy Krathong Festival was just around the corner. I asked the sales assistant when Loy Krathong Festival was, and she gave me a surprised look before telling me that it was on Sunday. I then asked her where do the local Thais float their lotus lanterns, and she told me that most of them do it at Kallang River, which is just a traffic light junction away. That was exciting! I didn’t know Kallang River was the venue for floating the lanterns, and if I had known it earlier, I could have celebrated it for the past 2 years. Anyway, I did not buy any lotus lantern from her yesterday, as I didn’t want to buy too early only to have a dented or damaged lantern on the actual day of Loy Krathong. Hence, I promised the sales assistant that I’d return to buy the following day.
On the following afternoon, before I go for my Chinese opera rehearsals, I purposely make a trip down to the stall again to buy lotus lantern. There were a number of colourful lanterns for sale, with price range from $5 to $10. That seemed a bit expensive, but then again, the “labour cost” as well as the cost of the raw materials is not cheap either, so I still decided to get one anyway. The cheaper ones did not appeal to me, as they were only decorated with some ribbons and I felt it looked too plain and not worth the money. I decided to get the $10 one, which was decorated with real fresh flowers and banana leaves. It looked nicer, and what’s more, it’s more environmentally friendly! After buying the lotus lantern, I suddenly remembered something; I had to work the following evening, and I wasn’t sure if I would have time to float the lantern. The sales assistant rest assured me that the floating of lanterns will start as early as 6pm, and would carry on until late in the night.
On the evening of Loy Krathong, I was greeted with bad weather, and I was worried that I might not be able to celebrate the occasion if the weather did not improve. Luckily, the rain stopped as fast it came. I then proceed to Kallang River happily with my lotus lantern. I guess it was still early, as I did not see anyone launching lotus lanterns into the water. I was about to head back to office and come back again later in the night when I saw a group of 4 elderly people carrying lotus lanterns in their hands. They were speaking in Hokkien, and I thought they might be able to help me find a place to launch the lanterns. It turned out that this group of elderly people were fans of my Chinese opera troupe, and one of their nieces was actually a dancer in our dance group too. It seemed that fate had drawn us together, and hence I decided to just follow behind them.
We walked for a short while before coming to a spot where we saw people crowding around. Some people had already launched their lotus lanterns while some were taking pictures with their lotus lanterns. We then decided that this would be the place for us to launch our lanterns into the water. I then realised that I had forgotten to bring out a small paper packet, inside which consist of a few strands of my hair and fingernails. You see, the sales assistant told me that before launching the lotus lantern, what some Thais do is that they would snip off a bit of their hair and clipped their fingernails, and place them on top of their lotus lanterns. As the lotus lantern floats away in the water, whatever bad luck and illness which you had for the previous year would go away with the lantern too. I then quickly searched my bag for my scissors and starts snipping a bit of my hair and fingernails. I guessed it must have a funny sight, as I noticed some Thai people looking at me in a strange manner. Anyway, I managed to get some of my hair and fingernails just in time to launch the lotus lanterns together with the 4 elderly people.
I felt happy and relieved once I saw my lantern floating away in the river, as I had finally realised my wish of celebrating Loy Krathong Festival again. Hopefully, the next time I celebrate this occasion would be in Big Thailand itself and not in “Small Thailand”!