Natural Lap Lip

Pre-hari raya season is the best time for anyone to see the lampu lap-lip adorning the windows/doors/balconies/driveway of Malay houses. They come in all sorts of colours, patterns and also the way they meander all over the house, put the natural creeper plans to shame. I never liked this lampu lap-lip. Lampu colok with the kerosene and real flame is a different thing altogether. But lampu lap lip, to me is downright tacky.

Over the weekend however, I couldn’t take my eyes off the ‘lampu lap lip’ along the banks of the Sungai Kg Kuantan in Kuala Selangor. There were 3 of us. Myself, the husband and Anita. Anita is from Canada and she is currently teaching here.  A hardcore traveller and fellow photographer. We met at the resort and had gone to the firefly place together. At 49, she is teaching the Special Ed kids and it was the husband who first noticed her with ‘ I think that lady over there looks like mummy..’ And true enough, in every sense of the word and even looks-wise, she was an image of my MIL. It turned out that she too was going to the firefly place and she was alone. All 3 of us shared a van there from De/Palma resort.

The sampan that we took at the jetty was a bit wobbly and the life-jacket given to us were not that safe so to speak as the pakcik told us to ‘takpe lah ikat sajer!’  To this, Anita and the husband exchanged looks. For a moment I managed to berfeeling ‘Latifah Omar’ in Malay classic film… naik sampan on a river… alahai! Between us and the water was barely 10cm of the sampan’s height. 

We were not supposed to make any noise. We would be fined Rm 500 if we do so. So the moment we got on the sampan, everyone had to speak in a whisper. The river was pitch black. And then slowly, as the sampan moved, we saw them…

They were so gorgeous! These fireflies, very much natural, real and authentic lighted up the trees along the whole stretch of the river making it seems like Christmas is on the way for these Malay kampung folks. They really looked like lighted Christmas trees and the most amazing thing that I noticed was that they flicker in unison with one another. There could easily be hundreds of them, but in perfect harmony–they on and off their lights together. That was the first time I saw fireflies and hundreds of them too!

We were quiet for a while during the journey, not because we were afraid of the fine, but rather, amazed. Anita, the nature lover/hardcore traveller  that she is turned to us and said that hands down, this sampan ride while watching hundreds of these fireflies is far more romantic than riding the gondola in Venice. Well, I have never been to Venice but yes, it was extremely romantic…


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