It's Chinese New Year, and I don't really think I need to know the exact date on the lunar calendar to be all ready for this celebration/occasion/festival. Yes the date changes every year without fail thanks to the 30 day lunar calendar but also without fail, right after the christmas decorations come down from shops, malls and homes, the bright red ones go up with immediate effect. Silent night and Joy to the world morph into cny songs that have been pretty much ingrained into us since.
Its kinda impossible to ignore.
Most years, I dont really like cny. All the visiting, continuous eating and watching bad tv, starting off with reunion dinner and ending with this big dinner on the second day. Two consecutive days of relative visiting all over the island, which otherwise would not happen any other day of the year. I know its tradition and part of customary actions that we visit and shake hands, wish them well, but the fact is I hardly know them, if at all. I might as well be shaking the hands of a stranger and wishing them happy new year.
I wonder how different it would be when we become adults, who would we visit?
But this year I had a chance to leave the country! Albeit only a 40min plane ride (half the time I take to get to school btw, ridiculous), it was still away from all the routined habits here and of course I'm in!
And it feels really really good to leave SG, even if it were for less than 40 hours.
Woke up way too early by any standards for a first day of a year. Landed in KL before 9am, had mc's breakfast (hah, its nt brunch, its breakfast ok!). Pretty awesome.
45min drive to PJ and it was the start of the non-stop eating. Grandma seems to take much delight in insisting that we're hungry even though I was still holding the sausage mc muffin in my hand, half eaten.
(Udang is prawn in malay, another so so so yummy snack, only in m'sia sigh, but grandma forced us to cart 2 bags home, nice)
Singapore has its traditions, but when we go up to malaysia, we have traditions too, sigh, we are indeed creatures of habit, either that or we're just slumped into familiarity and comfort with routine knowing it wont disappoint. I'm talking about food here(:
Going up to the same roti canai place, ordering the same thing, talking about the same things, griping about the same things.
Roti canai with egg and teh tarik. mmmm
I guess some things never do change.
Well I dont have any photos from M'sia for one because the mother's paranoid about malaysia being dangerous and we'll get mugged carrying a dslr around. Shouldve brought the digi cam. Thinking about it, despite visiting m'sia so so often, I dont have pictures of the trips, ever. Should really take some the next time.
Following that was tv show after tv show on cable in the new home theatre room that the cousins got, complete with funky sofas and a 42inch. Life is good.
Plus for whoever who doesnt know, kl is pretty much a ghost town like you wouldnt believe during cny, cos everyone goes out of state (to penang, malacca, all the small towns) to visit parents and relatives. So everything is closed, literally everything, and the roads are all jam-free.
Upon which we pretty much watched tv, played dvds, and watched more tv the entire day. Peppered with small conversations throughout.
Dinner was a simple affair unlike the usual a-lot-of-fuss-and-too-much-food cny dinners.
Curry chicken with oyster saucs vegs. (:
(note to self, should probably 'steal' and keep some of these to make pistachio icecream!(:)
Grandma was also looking pretty good herself, so cute, she kinda thought chu yi was actually chu xi and how she hurriedly changed into new clothes upon realisation. Quite funny.
And from the amount of talking and encouragements to eat more, I think she was feeling pretty happy that day too.
Now if only there were her arrowhead chips and seaweed chips to eat. omg those are like my ultimate favourite cny snacks. Wins pineapple tarts, hae bee hiam, bak kwa, or melting moments anytime, hands down. I can like go through half a bottle of that at a go. And the worse thing is its so light that you dont think you've eaten that much of it and before you know it you're staring at half an empty bottle of chips. Very Bad.
And I like how cute shes being by trying to impart her recipes to me but not realising she doesnt use any units of formal measurements. Old people are funny that way(:
(ok this is obviously not my photo, got it off google but since I dont want to launch into describing my favourite cny snack and feeling sad all over again cos I have no way of getting these awesome babies any time soon) but here, arrowhead chips. Just like potato chips, but totally different, and better.
Ah yes, movies movies and more movies. Watched a grand total of 6 movies in <40hours. I think part of it was mum and her brother trying to relive their childhood (because during new years, they would go to the theatre and watch as many movies as they could in a day, because they didnt have a tv set at home). But I do love movies, and good ones at that, so I'm really not complaining. Plus with their extensive collection of dvds, we could watch all the good ones.
Total damage: CJ7, Up!, Pride and prejudice, stranger than fiction, sherlock holmes, and taken
The second day involved brunch at one of the usual coffee shops that had basically everything yumz and hawker food-ish that I love. Not exactly the cleanest of places haha but they always say, the ickiest places gives the yummiest food. I agree.
And for 3 people,we had chee cheong fun, yong taufoo, penang laksa (which I cant eat but its ok!), wanton mee, popiah! and of course, teh tarik. omg So Full! if I had a second stomach, I would have gone for dim sum but too bad):
Back home to continue with the tv mooching. Totally never visit any of the malls and spent 90% of the time at home but it was all gd. No technology, no internet, no facebook, no phones. Tiny, awesome respite.
Crunched down half a bottle of arrowhead chips between mum and myself. And it was bad, but so good at the same time. sigh.
Having cny snacks <1m away from you and arms reach while whiling time away in front of the tv is so not a good thing.
6pm came too fast and retreat was over.
It was another 45min ride to klia and back home, by which we would all concur that we were returning back to the best airport in the world - somehow whenever I leave the country I always return with the same conclusion. whether its msia or usa, the conclusions dont differ. Is it the familarity and comfort of repetition or just that I'm missing home but don't really care to admit sometimes.
Well, I dont really know myself(;