Fireworks from a Mountain

After all these years of chasing fireworks – braving mosquitoes in a secluded undeveloped portion of Sentosa Island, hustled through bumper-to-bumper traffic at Marina Park, driving across the viaduct many times over between 7-7.30 pm to make sure the precise timing of the first bursts, nearly trampled to death while standing up at Harbour Quay in Sydney during the Olympics, climbing onto the top of the light tower at the National Stadium after cajoling the military marshalls and exploting my press pass – I thought, watching the fireworks from a moutain would top it all off, and what a smart decision I made for both me and DH to view the Canada Day fireworks splendidly yesterday.Not.

I realise how dumb it was for me to decide that we should view the fireworks (which is happening in downtown Vancouver) from Burnaby Mountain, some 20 km away. We were not the only ones of course, there were at least 200 people there – with a good mix of people showing what Canada truly is. I was amazed when I looked around and saw a potpourri of Chinese, Indians, Caucasians, Muslims, Eastern Europeans and many others I cannot instantly recognise. From the slopes of Burnaby Mountain facing the entire sprawl of Vancouver, it is a gorgeous view – including the waters between Vancouver and the Gulf islands, as well as the lights lining the summit at Mount Seymour Ski Resort. It was breathtaking, but it is no way a place to view fireworks – not the way I am used to.

Since young, fireworks is BIG, HUGE and LOUD. I am also always trying to get to it as close as I can – there is something so powerful and magical to be so close to the majestic thumping of each burst, and how small it often makes me feel. I like that feeling, that smallness – to be able to see something so full of grandeur and be completely marvelled by it.

Little did I realise that viewing fireworks from the top of a mountain will only make the firework seem, err….small. Its basic physics really – you are far, AND higher than the height of the firerworks – so the bursts seem like small sparks (macam bunga api) from where you are. As I watched the first few bursts of the fireworks last night, some distant away, minus the thumps because we were so far away – I was dissapointed. Literally, it was like someone ripped away my childhood firework fantasy – something that I have been chasing and gratified by everytime I seek it.

The chilly air, the breathtaking view and the romantic company (yes it was romantic, amidst the screaming children running around 🙂 – did make up the dissapointment a bit. Next year, DH says – we are going to go to another location. Fireworks CANNOT be smaller than you are, it is just wrong. That’s the whole magic of it.

Viewing fireworks from a mountain is bad, bad decision on my part. I thought I was clever, priding myself to DH saying I have been chasing fireworks all my life and so I know what is best. Yeah right. I forgot I did not grow up in a place where there are super-high mountains around, except for 12-storey flats.

Think like a Canadian when you are in Canada, girl. Fireworks from a mountain doesn’t work.


  1. apasal you all tak pegi tgk kat Cloverdale? bet the fireworks were ‘bigger’ there? 🙂

  2. Bom!!!!! So sorry to barge in like this but me no hap ur email add.
    I remember viewing the fireworks from MIL’s 11th storey flat. The higher, the better, right? In your case, definitely not!

  3. In: thank you!

    Faddy: Idiot…jaga kau!

    Mak Labu: Tulah, Mak Labu tak bilang kita pasal Cloverdale…laaa…

    Melati: Just went to ur blog, my email is there too. Where got barge? No hep. No hep.

  4. uja, nak tgk more bunga api, watch out for the firework competition – i think 5 countries are competing -sometime in early Aug, i think. kat downtown Vancouver. Just be prepare to berasak2 macam ikan sardin. Last yr kitaorang tgk from North Van…& just like you, we only nampak the hujung2 aje & nak oooh…ahhh pon cam tak semangat aje..:-)

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