Have you been to a Hungry Ghost Festival before? If yes, then have you been to their follow up dinner before then?
Most of the merchants will do their yearly grand prayer in a temporary built up place, whereby people started donating rice lah, oil lah, paper offering lah to please the unrest ones. Apparently shortly after the prayer they will follow up with charity dinner, usually few days later.
So, my mom's line dancing friend invited us for one of these dinners, yesterday in SEA Park (somewhere near SS2). Her husband, being one of the loyal member to the SEA Park merchant Assoc. has bought 2 tables for the nite. Since many friends couldn't come, the friend decided to invite her neighbour, Doris too...
As usual, some terrible singer was singing chinese oldies when we first arrived. The people at the table next to us were busy playing poker cards, while the table next to it were puffing cigarettes away.
Not long after that, the dinner begun. While gulping hungrily, the district MP went up stage to talk, then blah blah until auctioning time.
This is interesting, the association has order about 5 decorative items that were gold plated: Two fishes around a jade plate, a golden abacus, rice containers ?!, Jars of black gold (apparently a Teochew favourite). Then slowly, very very draggy, they will auction each item out, starting with a price of RM388. The people at the dinner, will then start to bid on each item with the price they think fit for the item. Money obtain from this auction was to be donated to one of the heamodylisis center.
And guess what, it become like a show off time. Some guys will try to come out with price as much as RM20,200 for one of the items, while the others will out bid offering even higher price. Meanwhile, there were pushy members that try to get the quiet member to bid, by putting the microphone in front of them. The whole thing just got so crazy. According to my mom's friend, her husband actually got pushed to bid for that same rice container last year at the price of RM18,888. My aunt was so mad so mad with the husband, until he also not dare to bring the prize home. Till now, that container was still left at the association office. LoL...
Oh, about Doris. We were happily eating first few dishes to our satisfaction. But gradually we become full and ate less and less. Swiftly Doris took out the plastic bags she bought from home, obviously a veteran in charity dinner she is, she scoped the braised pork knuckles into the plastic bags even though it was still burning hot. My aunt was a bit ticked since Doris never ask for permission!
Next, there come the prawns with oatmeal (YUM!). We just started to feast of them, but she already start putting a few into the plastic bag (mind u, different bag). And my aunt felt unfair, she brought over the bowl, more of less like fighting to put all the the remining prawns for herself. This just carry on for the other dishes (vegetarian dish, fried rice)...
It was a very unusual night out to me, nonetheless, especially getting to see people from different walk of life such as the above. Heh