It was bad.
Hari Raya wasn't all that bad, actually. Lots of stalls set up, yummy 'street' food, pretty lights. The main problem was the traffic, and the rubbish. The main issue was that of the many, many, many stalls that didn't sell food, they all sold curtains. Curtains, curtains curtains. Would you like to buy some curtains? Why no thank you, I don't believe in them. Well how about some curtains then?
The Hungry Ghost month was less pleasant. Some lowlights:
- People burning bales of hell notes. I swear hectares of rainforest were burned here in Joo Chiat. I mean, is it love or fear that prompts one to remit billions of dollars to the departed? I shudder to think of the runaway inflation in the afterlife. Zimbabwe? Meh. The Weimar Republic? Pffft.
- The greasy coating of ash on everything, including my white tile floor. See, my back door doesn't close. Through a fiendishly complicated system of raffia connecting the back door to the rubbish chute, said door is always open. (I didn't create this monstrousity; it was like that when I moved in. Some people might say I'm just lazy, that I could cut it and be done. The truth is I'm in awe of the mind which devised the unholy mess, the unnecessary(?) tangle of pink raffia that connects handle to handle thorough a convoluted series of twists and turns. I suspect said mind was either brilliant or deranged, and to destroy its work would be almost sacreligious, and very probably dangerous.) Since my back door is always open (so to speak, if you can climb threee stories and squeeze through the wrought iron security bars (much like a former bosses' open door policy, come to think) and since the prevailing wind comes from the rear of the house, the ashes from all the burning billions ended up in my house every. single. day.
- The chanting monks. To the rear of my dwelling is an open field, which allows me an unobstructed view of, among other things, the Gateway Hotel, East Wind Foodcentre (Vietnamese Favourites!) and Pub 88 & Karaoke. None of these fine establishments has ever annoyed me to any extent comparable to the three chanting monks that set up shop in the open field outside my back door. In a cheerful little yellow tent, they chanted for hours one night- which would have been fine, actually, if they hadn't felt the need to use a PA system. Why (on earth? in hell?) would the dead need a PA system? WHY? They're dead, not deaf.