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Memories of The Moon

A Man walked on the surface of the moon more than forty years ago.

Mooncake making has been in the process for thousands of years in East Asia. Obviously various communities and nations across Earth have been fascinated by this satelite, ever appearing to light up the night sky and missed when there is heavy and thick cloud cover.

I cherish and relish the sight of the the full round moon, with warts and all, hanging so close above the horizon, like one year memorably over Eastwood in Sydney's north-west. The clarity of the sky was superseded by the sharpness of features of the still inhabitable Moon. Other planets may have several moons, but we have only one special one.

Another fond memory is that of the moon looking down on Earth over a sheep grazing farm in South Island, New Zealand - this was surrounded by a plethora of visible stars - and that over Koh Samui, with all the heaviness of the balmy equatorial air and the soothing lightness of the sounds of gentle waves in the Gulf of Thailand.

Lanterns at the Jurong Gardens in Singapore, red, pink and orange, were the highlights of a September or October evening after a hard earned day's work in Singapore. The lantern lights were reflected over the still and calm waters of a man made lake, remniscent of Suzhou in central China but really, this was on a tropical island in South-east Asia.

The increasing price of mooncakes and its affliate pastries in Sydney's Asian suburbs have been both a disturbing and fascinating reflection of the economics of products made only once a year. Mum tells me that the prices even back in my hometown of Penang have taken a steep rise this year.

The combination of sweet bean paste and emulsified egg yolks in mooncakes may not go down well with the office audience in the Illawarra, but I love the five nuts package, with bits of healthy crunchy stuff like breakfast cereal, except that they are then coated with other stuff. The spread of more challenging varieties like yam and durian are only the stuff of my dreams here but I did spot them in boxes in some shops in Sydney suburbs.

This year there was no moon to be seen on the fifteenth night of the eighth moon, only passing showers and an overcast sky. Not that the heavenly creation was not there.

I recall migrating to Australia just when the Mooncake festivities were getting on. This had made it harder to leave my hometown. many years later, the festivities symbolise a comfort zone and also of leaving behind to face a new dimension. It makes the festival even more special. I have not walked on the Moon, but I may have tried.

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