Saturday, April 11, 2009
the ching ming, or qingming, festival had just passed. the cemeteries are now clean with the weeds and long grasses all gone whilst the offerings are still left behind for the spirit of the ancestors.
i used to do a charter during this festival many years back when i was a cab driver. oh yeah...i don't think i ever mentioned of being a cab driver once. it was a long story, long ago. anyhow, i used to help this one lady to find all the lots she was visiting. she was old and couldn't remember how to get to the graves of her deceased relations. she was old and her sight was failing her quite badly. she simply handed me a piece of paper written with the lot numbers, requesting for my assistance.i managed to bring her personally to the respective 'resting places', waited for her to finish her prayers, helped her back to the parked cab and moved on to the other few old cemeteries in her list. i doubt the lady is still around kicking. and if that is sadly true, i wonder if she had anyone else in the family who helped to continue the custom, or if anyone burnt some paper money and brought offerings for her every year.
i provided the same transport service yesterday to new customers, and that brought my memories crawling back to her.
i didn't take any picture yesterday as i don't wish to offend anyone. the picture inserted was an ancient Chinese painting, extracted from a site, showing how the ching ming festival in the old days used to be a quite busy occasion for the chinese people.