Some weeks back during the Raya holidays, some of my relatives made their way home to Taiping to commemorate 3-7 (the 21st day) of Ah Por's passing.
According to Taoist rituals, every seventh day up to the 49th day marks an important event - though most Chinese usually observe the 7th and 49th day, as these are most important. On the 7th day, the dearly departed becomes aware of her demise and returns home for a final tour before descending to hell; while on the 49th day, a permanent home is established for her in the nether world. As for all that time in between the 7th and the 49th, her spirit roams our world.
So anyway, it was the holidays and the gang decided to make a trip - partly to keep my Mom company, participate in the rituals and also to help unearth whatever treasures that Grandma had stashed away.
Then came night.
At about 4am, my cousin's wife awoke to answer to nature's call. She was returning to bed when she glanced at the front door some 200ft away (our house is really long) and there was Ah Por! The old lady had returned.
Anyway, we decided to go home over the weekend - Mae, Roma, Jesse and my brother, Steve. I told Mae that I wanted to see Mom but Steve and I were really more curious to see Ah Por - or a ghostly apparition of her. Neither of us had ever seen a ghost before and we thought it might be quite the experience.
Anyway, Mae chickened out and we had to stay in a hotel. And Grandma decided that just Stephen alone wasn't worth her making an appearance.
So much for that idea. Luckily the food in Taiping, as always, was great.