Sunday, January 29, 2006

xin nian kuai le

(P/S PLEASE watch cottage cheese thighs trackback on PopoZao. I laughed till I nearly cried)

don't even ask me how to say that in Cantonese. Sin Nian Guoi/Guai Lay? *cue racous laughter*

hey hey. At least I know it's Gong Hei Fatt Choy for Gong Xi Fa Cai ok?

Anyway, Happy Lunar New Year to all the Chinese, Viets, Koreans and Jappies out there. (and if I've forgotten anyone, feel free to add yourself in)


Anyway, I'm feeling extremely pantang (superstitious) this year due to all the recent huge upheavals in my life (new job, new place, waiting for my PR etc) and it always helps to err on the side of caution. So while I'm not exactly timing flowers to bloom exactly on the 29th of January and flying geomancers over from Singapore to come take a look at my place, and in fact I'm not even investing in a rabbit's foot or a four leaf clover, I am in fact, dressed in red, and wearing new clothes.

And I'm just slightly homesick for once, seeing that the annoying Dong dong dong chiang Chinese New Year music is not making me want to blow my brains out for once. And there's NO BUAH KELUAK.

Call me mean but I'm almost happy that the cousin whose mum makes the divine buah keluak is here, suffering from buah keluak withdrawal symptoms too.

Dammit. If only I could find some here, I'd MAKE my cousin cook it, exam or no exam tomorrow!

If anything, Melbourne weather seems to be conspiring to make it as homely for me as possible, what with an entire week of 30-40+ degrees of humidity. mmmm. sweat. ECH. I've grown 4 new freckles on ONE ARM just walking from apartment to tram stop.

(and if anyone wants to pass the message on to my mum, no, I still haven't tanned and still look like a little white mouse) I BLAME THE TEOCHEW GENES. Mum, it's ALL YOUR FAULT I'M SO PALE OK?

Went out for reunion dinner with the crew from ex-work (booked 2 weeks in advance), stuffed ourselves with duck at Old Kingdom which has a very entertaining owner. (Booyah for the way he cuts our duck man. and the way he's so pantang about the way we arrange our duck) Apparently he's from East Timor but speaks very good Mandarin and Indonesian.

then hopped into Chinatown where most of the shops were already closed, but we managed to catch a last round of lion dances dancing into the various restaurants (a bit early hey?). 2 lion dances stick out vividly in my memory.

1) when I was a kid and my grandma had a lion dance troupe in the compound, I was scared shitless of the loud noises coz it really really hurt my ears, and what the heck, those lions had antlers! and their eyes! eeek. They WINKED! anyway, I think the lion-dancers kinda liked me (orand pranced my way a little, which of course made me hide almost in tears, although I was really in awe of the way they caught the red packet hanging on the second floor off a bamboo pole.

2) In a hawker centre eating my food and some Bangladeshi workers were obviously hired to "do the rounds" kowtowing to the various shrines placed there, and even to some joss sticks stuck into a cucumber. That was a little disturbing to me.


Anyway, Bryyin just called and we were discussing red packets and how it differs even within each dialect group, and how my parents have the SAME discussion every year.

"Married already must give angpow"

"No lah, same generation leh"

"Aiyah, Cantonese custom not the same mah"

"you cantonese so mad one. Some more must give parents"

Dad mutters something in Cantonese under his breath.

"What did you say CJ???" (yes, my dad goes by the very cool moniker of CJ- even in real life)

heh heh heh.

Speaking of which, I just realised how traditional my family was, from only recently allowing girls to ackknowledge our ancestors (gramps was afraid no boy would be left to remember our ancestors coz her 5 sons were just spawning way too many girls)

to us having to kneel down to collect our angpows, and even my mum's heirloom shared with her 3 sisters - 3 sets of custom made 3D charm bracelets in yellow gold, intricately made to include things like an actual working set of abacus less than an inch LONG and a bird in a birdcage (and I don't mean out of one piece of gold). People really don't make things like that anymore.

Must find non-creepy temple to pay my respects this year I think. Maybe I'll just go to that 100% Buddhist one on Queen St because that South Melbourne one just gives me the creeps. (or when I visit my cousin we can both go to one of the Box Hill ones)

Listening to: Teresa Teng- The Moon Represents My Heart (yue liang dai biao wo de xin) because it reminds me so much goldfishmemory's mum. HAHA!


Anonymous said...

haha le kua simi?
i want angpaos too. but damn us filos who don't really celebrate cny don't get angpaos during chinese new year.
and guess what? i thought this season was mooncake season. i want bloody mooncakes!!

Anonymous said...

i read the thing you wrote about your dad. my dad used to tell me he loved me by typing the word "love" after every text message. it was.. really strange (at first). but now it's okay.

you'll get used to it. if he does it again i mean..

bun said...

i'd only just heard yesterday about gran's recent change of our long-standing family tradition that only men worship at the ancestral altar. funny you should post about it just now.

apparently she changed the tradition some 10 years ago.

it's incredible what prices restaurants dare to charge at chinese new year. the bill for our reunion dinner at lei garden came up to an astonishing... well, let's say it's the price of the valentine's day dinner at the raffles hotel.

likely to be smaller again next cny after i'm married and fifth uncle's two eldest go off to uk for uni.

gran is 88 this year and excited about my wedding coz she said i'm "willing to have children". she confidently said she'll be around to carry them though i told her i'm not going to have children immediately :)

oh, and ying is giving birth in july.

my mom didn't sing teresa teng on her karaoke system, thank goodness. when i saw her fixing up the mikes herself, i got a teeny bit anxious. ha

Anonymous said...

your mum is funny. I remember she *likes* Teresa Teng, but for karaoke...I sure remember her getting *all emotional* while singing that Tiananmen Sq one! HAHAHA!