Sunday, February 13, 2005

5 days of hectic CNY!

How time flies. Before I know it, it's Sunday night, the 5th day of CNY and I have to drag my ass back to work tomorrow. How I dread going back to work.

Let's see what happened during CNY:

1st Day (Wed)
It is a custom of my family (and I think for most Chinese families) to reserve 1st day of CNY for visiting relatives. This year is a little different for us. As mentioned previously, my uncle passed away so his family could not celebrate CNY. We did not visit his place on the 1st day since it is impolite to do so. Another uncle (my father's brother) went down to Singapore to visit his son so we could not visit him either. This has cut our visiting down to only one aunt's place. This aunt is my mother's eldest sister, so a lot of the other cousins and aunts and uncles would visit her on Day 1, which means the whole family would congregate there to meet. It was an extremely busy afternoon with many children running around, screaming. The adults were all screaming to get themselves heard. The TV is at its loudest volume. Then, there's the February, CNY heat. The heat and the noise always drive me up the wall.

There's the usual ragging by relatives. Everyone asked if I am not ashamed to accept ang pow. One cousin's wife gave me the angpow and sniggered - I'm the same age as you. All these are done good naturedly, of course... Well, what can I do except to learn to dance myself away from these questions.

The day ended with 2 phone calls. One was from Joey. I was surprised that he called to send his greetings. The second call was from ST, all the way from UK!

2nd Day (Thurs)
The evening of Day 2 saw me visiting ZipD's house for the usual poker session with his relatives. For the past 3 or 4 years, Dogbone, Droolman and I have been playing poker with ZipD's aunts and uncles, the "senior citizens" as we used to call them among ourselves. The poker session began at ZipD's house. The following day, we'd adjourn to an aunt's who stays in Bangsar and continue our gambling. The next day, we'd gather at another aunt's house in Shah Alam. Each aunt will take turn to host the family. It's their tradition. We are guests or additional gambling "kakis" who invited ourselves. Ha ha.

3rd Day (Fri)
I spent the evening in the mortuary where the family gathered to pay respect to my uncle and his family before the burial ceremony the following day. Lots of kneeling down and "exercise"-ing while we went through the ritual. Ouch.. my feet hurt because no one mentioned that I have to do the ritual and I was wearing leather shoes!

4th Day (Sat)
I had lunch with ZipD, Dogbone, Droolman and wives. We didn't know what to do in the afternoon. Someone suggested poker again. "It's just among us.. no senior citizens", that someone claimed. We all went to ZipD's house and gambled again. Are we degenerate or what? But really, there's nothing to do in CNY except to gamble. Everyone does that! This session turned out to be one of the best poker sessions because all of us were free to scream, curse and spew forth foul languages since the senior citizens were not around. It was really fun. Droolman and wive won because they have some really good luck (four 6s in one game and three 6s in two games! Unbelievable, these Ipoh-mari scammers!)

I went to a reunion dinner with the MBS classmates at 6pm on the 4th day. I know I already had one reunion but this one was arranged by See Yau. To my dismay, a lot of people FFK (stood us up) and there's only 5 of us in the restaurant! Well, there were 9 adults and many babies. It's more of a couple's reunion than anything! I felt so left out. People talk about babies, breast feeding, breast pumps, houses, etc. Maan... I will make sure I ffk next time there is another "couple reunion". Fortunately, nobody asked me about when I am getting married. I guess my friends have all given up on me :)

Right after dinner, I went for poker in Shah Alam. This time I won big! Wooo hoooooo! I spent it on a new 512mb Apacer USB drive!

5th Day (Sun)
Today my 2nd level manager had an open house. Many people from my team went to her place. She prepared some of the most delicious asam laksa, mee goreng, kari ayam and otak otak. So, there I was sitting in the dining table enjoying my dessert when Mr Miser asked me, "eh.. boss gave ang pow already or not?". I was taken aback and I didn't know what to answer. Before I could come up with a response, Bonnie, who was beside me said "Given liow. You were too late." When Mr Miser went for his 3rd helping, Bonnie said indignantly, "where got people asked such question one???". We had a good laugh at Mr Miser :) He, ah, really.. I am speechless...

Ok. That's how my CNY went. Lots of activities.. lots of gatherings.. lots of fun.. and yet filled with longings and loneliness when you see all your friends with kids. What about your CNY? I hope you had a good one.

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