Happy Halloween, folks!
We had a party last week, our annual pumpkin carving bash. This has been a yearly tradition for us since buddy and I started it here, 4 years ago. In fact, LP and I did this in medical school in Canada too, and somehow I carried it on here. Stems from the fact that I had never seen pumpkins like this before in Malaysia, let alone carve one. So the suaku (mountain tortoise) decided to carve some and invite his friends. Needless to say, this year's turnout has been the biggest. Amazing to see how our 'family' here has grown in recent years. Though far away from home, it's nice to have a huge group of Malaysians and Singaporeans here who are fairly close.
Buddy decided to keep the news of his illness to ourselves until after the party (he broke the news late at night, after the kids were sleeping). So this was the last party we would have without the burden of that knowledge in our hearts and on our shoulders. As he put it: Things will be different now. Perhaps some may look at him in sadness, sympathy or with a new seriousness? Though I think most would see him with newfound respect and admiration for his strength and clarity of mind.
It's always hilarious, and sometimes dangerous, to see the mischief the boys come up with. And when I say boys, I mean us the adults, and not the kids. Case in mind the dry ice and coke incidents. Here Nick is making keropok in my Optimus Prime helmet.
We would usually have a bunch of people over, plenty of food, and just carve the pumpkins on the living room floor. After it was done, we'd put it outside and light the tealight candles. And here's the traditional group photo we take at the end of every session. (One other thing I've learnt: If you're gonna have pumpkins outside your house, you better have candy for the kids on Halloween night. These things are like bloody kid-magnets. I remember the year 3 kids came a-knocking. Buddy and I were postcall and had nothing aside from one snickers bar and beer. He was tempted to ask the 3 kids so share the one bar, while I contemplated the legal consequences of giving the kids Bud lite. Needless to say we watched TV in the dark with the shades closed the rest of that night)