Chinese New Year Day 1

The start of the day was like previous years, which was house visiting to my aunt’s place. Before that, we went to Burger King but changed our minds and visited the new MacDonald’s branch at Shenton Way instead. It was fantastically designed and I regretted not asking them to dine in instead.

We spent some time over my aunt’s house before going home. There was a gathering at Wilson’s place but I was waiting for my family to visit the River Ang Bao until quite late. After my younger brother reached home, we went off without my elder brother.

The event was hosted at the Floating platform where NDP had been conducted for the past two years. There was a big crowd at the entrance and we were quite turned off because the entire place was much smaller than the usual ones.

There was a stage where all the China people performed. Statue-like lanterns of the twelve animals were as per normal and there was an additional gigantic Chinese chess set. We left the platform very soon and walked around the small “Food Street”. Some of the stalls did not label price for the food, which was very cunning. We did not buy anything in the end.

It seemed that more than half of the patrons were China people. The only good thing about the place was that there were many sweet girls around.

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Long Weekend – Deepavali

I spent the long weekend better than previous weeks; more things were done although the efficiency level was still too low. I did not even know about the Deepavali’s holiday until Daniel told me on last Friday morning.

I managed to update two blogs:
Chinese Dramas
Hey! Are You Joking?

My upcoming directory site had moved to another era with the confirmation of the design and layout, such that I could go ahead with the remaining coding without fears of amendments.

I added four Chinese songs to my collection:
吴英仔 – 双手的温柔
(Wu Ying Zai – Shuang Shou De Wen Rou)
吴宗宪 – 留心
(Jacky Wu Zong Xian – Liu Xin)
李玖哲 – 想太多
(Li Jiu Zhe – Xiang Tai Duo)
薛之谦 – 黄色枫叶
(Xue Zhi Qian – Huang Se Feng Ye)

The meet-up with Irwin, including golfing, was great except for the fact that my flu and cough had not recovered.

I also managed to spend some time trying out the add-ons for Mozilla Firefox to enhance my surfing experience.

If only the weekend was longer…

Lunar Chinese New Year 2008

Chinese New Year Eve saw some packing of the house. Reunion dinner was as per normal. I was quite sick of the steamboat for it happened more than just once each year, and every time I had to feast on it for numerous continuous days.

My plan to comb down the pasar malam at Chinatown for cheap goodies was killed once again. It was quite stupid to go down early and thus I did not join my family members earlier. I went down at 3am but unfortunately, met them at the junction. Both my brothers wanted to go home but my mum decided to tag on to me.

I did not have much time and I would not want to waste any. I just wanted to speed up in all the crowded alleys and get whatever was cheap, in the shortest time. My pace was usually swift and far beyond your imagination, but this time, I knew I was grounded. I gave up on everything. Other than my preparation being trampled, I had to endure on the wastage of time and boring journey.

Basically, I allowed my mum to lead the way and she was basically far worse than any road idiot who had actually stayed near the place for more than twenty years. Alas, we reached the big field opposite Maxwell Market, besides the Fo Ya Shi. My mum bought some trays for placing utensils and I bought a shoes rack which looked more presentable than our neighbour’s, but everything was under my account.

First day of the New Year to my auntie’s house was the standard order by my mum. We got up late as usual and packed Burger King before approaching the bus-stop, where my mum flagged for the cab just before an approaching bus. That was really sudden and luckily the bus driver did not horn at us. However, it was really stupid to take a cab when we had already made our way to the bus-stop.

We met the usual gang of relatives who visited my auntie. We were all amazed by my toothless uncle who was chewing on hard food like nuts and bak kwa. It was the only occasion when this two non-working and sick couple would accept our money as a form of ang bao. Things turned a bit sour when my youngest uncle returned and we left soon. However, my mum forgot to take her phone along and my younger brother had to go back to retrieve it from the insane youngest uncle, who in his fifties, still acting like a less than ten years old kid, and his jokes were absolutely not funny at all.

At night, we went to春到河畔 and my mum’s main motive was to find the big fortune god’s statue to collect the “gold” from him. The pasar malam stalls were mostly rented by China people and some of the items were quite interesting. For some items, you probably needed to slash down the price a lot.

We walked to Lao Pa Sat for supper on the way home. It was an irritating experience as we were followed by the hawkers for ridiculously from one end of the food centre to the other end. If the government was not going to do something about this aggressive pulling of customers, Singapore’s reputation would certainly fall. That was not the end for the other hawkers were clinging to us. Luckily there were many empty tables and we could easily avoid all of them. We had twenty chicken satay, costing as expensive as sixty cents each. Four cups of tek tarrik proved to me that not all Indian tea stalls were good; that was the most awful tek tarrik we had ever tasted.

On the second day of Chinese New Year, we were supposed to visit my dad’s youngest brother. He had repeatedly reminded us to go over for lunch but we all woke up with food on the table. My mum bought chay kuay teow for us to share and we had to finish the food before leaving the house. We managed to reach Hougang soon but were overwhelmed with the earlier food that we did not take lunch immediately. That was the second and last place to get ang bao every year. The red packets were not big but at least, better than nothing. It was fun playing with my nephews and nieces. We stayed till 10pm and left after watching the Kungfu Soccer on channel 8. My uncle drove us back home.

Anyway, I missed all the gatherings with my buddies.

Merry Christmas 2007!

For those who did not receive my SMS, just to let you know that Uncle Santa has instructed you to give me my present first. Later, he will put yours into your smelly socks. So, remember not to wash them first.

By the way, if you really never receive my SMS, probably I have sent to your old number. Please message me your latest number!

First Open Market’s Transaction

[Sunday, 04 March, 2007]

I began feeling worse and almost felt like dropping down onto the floor. The cough was irritating. However, as time passed by, I began to feel better.

I was waked up a number of times in the morning. Two hours after I dozed off at around 6am, my mum unintentionally and stupidly disturbed my sleep just to switch on the fan. Afterwards, my elder brother’s girlfriend came and they made so much noise and followed by phone calls.

I got up at around noon finally after Jingkun told me we were going to meet at 1.45pm. I could not finish my lunch and was eventually late for fifteen minutes. However, I had totally forgotten I was meeting the BMCC guys and I had to be late for an hour in order to match up with the latest comer. Jingkun’s girlfriend cocked up the day for us and eventually I went to Mingen’s house with only Meijun and Weitat.

Mingfa was already waiting there for us. Mingen’s house was big and nice and his mum was very friendly. I stayed until Wilson arrived and left with Mingfa to Hougang. Luckily I dropped Kaven a message for he thought the meeting was called off. Mingfa and I took bus to Choa Chu Kang MRT and finally reached Ang Mo Kio by train. Afterwards, we took bus 88 to Street 61.

Kaven reached there just before us and Suimin called me up when we were reaching. She was asking me about outputting Chinese in her computer. She was behaving weirdly like an insane somehow. This day, she turned into a tortoise.

This was the first time I experienced signing of OTP other than JTC flats’. Later on, I gave a call to Ruoci but she did not really sound like wanting to meet up and thus I followed Kaven home. I joined in the steamboat with his tenant and her friend. Then, I went for a swim with him and afterwards, got to meet up with his another two friends – Eric and Rina. By the side of the pool when I was shivering, I did not say many things and mainly it was because I did not want to say anything which Kaven did not want to announce yet.

Later on, he sent me to the Clementi MRT station and I managed to reach home at around 11pm.

Work and Bai Nian at Anqi’s House

[Sunday, 25 February, 2007]

I wake up in the morning in order to go for the viewing at early afternoon. It was the usual long way to Ang Mo Kio and I dragged on my feet when I was not feeling well. It was an unfortunate day indeed. I supposed I was the first agent who ever did not want to close a deal which I would make money.

I went straight to Buona Vista MRT and waited there for Meijun. Together, we walked to Ghim Moh to look for the rest and go up to Apple’s house. They started playing cards and I knew we would be late for the next appointment. We were supposed to meet the rest at 6.30pm at Queenstown MRT but they only planned to leave at the same time. I was quite nervous and kept looking into my watch for I did not like to be late. In the end, they only started packing up at 6.30pm and there were more things to drag about.

Weitat and I went downstairs to get some paper plates, spoons and forks. Mingen arrived with Tiffany and I was not sure what was wrong that Mingen seemed to be quite pissed off. Then I realised he was not joining us anymore.

Weitat, Apple and Meijun took a cab with me to Queenstown MRT. We were about half an hour late. Siewchin, Kok Chiang and Ruoci had already arrived, whereas Junrong had left to visit his friend meanwhile. Then, together we walked towards Anqi’s house. We met up with Mingfa and Wilson before going up together. They started playing cards but I did join in as usual. Suddenly Junrong called Weitat and since Weitat was not sure of the road, I was the best candidate to go to the bus-stop to fetch Junrong.

In fact, the gathering to me was quite a failure. Anqi was supposed to get her ex team-mates but none of them turned up. Whereas for my side, Mingli, Xinyi and Jinyang broke their promises last minute. Jinyang sent a message to the wrong number when he tried to explain to me that he was sick.

Brother met sister

My favorite picture (other than the one I took with her)

The dining room

The 3 girls

Weitat eating

Meijun and Apple (third shot and finally Meijun opened her eyes)

Wilson when he was about to mediate

SSB !

The mediation

Mingfa

Anqi

Ruoci

Pose for FHM

The grand winner

Biggest loser

Group photo 1

Group photo 2

Ren yao and babe

Anqi and Ruoci

They continued with the game while I entertained myself snapping around in the poor lighting. At times, I almost dozed off but Wilson outshone me more. We took group photos in the end and left at around 11pm.

Inside the lift

Kok Chiang’s cool pose

Act cute and ren yao

Straight

With my girl friend

I forget she’s attached…

I took the same path as Siewchin, Kok Chiang and Ruoci. I finally got to take photos with Ruoci after so long. Together with her and Kok Chiang, we shared a cab.

Third Day of Chinese New Year

[Wednesday, 21 February, 2007]

My second day of “bai nian” was actually at my father’s side – at my small uncle’s house which was located at Hougang.

I spent the early morning doing my website and chatting with Suimin. I was expecting very little sleep because my mum would wake me up for the house visiting but I woke up at around 11am by myself. My elder brother was not even home from his soccer game yet and I almost thought we were not going out anymore. After my brother returned and his girlfriend came to join us before we left for Hougang.

My youngest niece

Her sister

Through familiar paths, we were able to get there. The house was still as beautiful as two years ago; everything was well-kept. Atmosphere was good with all the jokes around and we did some catch up. The most entertaining part was when my eldest cousin came with her daughters, the kids started to play hide-and-seek. Kids were so naïve that they tended to forget who were the people they were supposed to search sometimes. One of my nieces was sitting besides my mum and the rest of them searched all over the house for as long as five minutes.

She wanted to leave with us

We did not stay for dinner despite the temptation of KFC and pizza delivery. After reaching the MRT station, my younger brother went to his friend’s friend while the remaining four of us went to Marina Square. I was busy messaging everyone to ask if they wanted to go to Anqi’s house to “bai nian”. After walking around, my elder brother finally decided on the restaurant “Azabu Sabo”. I was quite turned off for it seemed expensive and my elder brother did not seem to hesitate at all.

My mum’s teriyaki

My elder brother’s curry

My cold plate

The food

Again

Elder brother and his girlfriend

Showing off my younger brother’s favorite – prawn

Desert

With mango and ice-cream

My elder brother and his girlfriend again

We started taking photos when the food arrived so that we could show them off to my younger brother for not joining us. My food was the cold plate and the taste was special. The dessert was fantastic as well but not the price. The meal cost around $77, which was a big bomb for me but luckily the money-shaking-tree was around.

God of wealth

Crazy people with umbrellas

Elder brother’s girlfriend

My mum

Then, we set off to River Ang Bao once again. My mother’s main purpose was to visit the god of wealth sculpture as usual. There were two words for the brainy inventor – f*ck you. My mum stood there for very long time with those aunties and uncles who had brought their umbrellas along and their arms were so strong that they could hold the umbrella up for more than fifteen minutes. We did not stay there for long after the sculpture shot some golden tiny papers out which resembled wealth. Soon, we took the bus home.

Before I could rest enough in front of the computer before going to bathe, Suimin was asking me to find songs for her. Then, Anqi suddenly told me she was not free on Friday and I started messaging everyone again to change it to Sunday.

Chinese New Year – Day One

[Sunday, 18 February, 2007]

Alone in the living room, that was how I spent my first moment of the Chinese New Year. I could not even be bothered to look at the television. My brothers each occupied a room while my mum started offering prayers to the heaven and then went to the temple.

The bonus was the phone call from Suimin. It was fun to chat with girls who spoke English most of the time and had weird but sexy Chinese accent. Usually I would try my best to fool them into using Chinese. Nevertheless, it was good enough to chat with sweet girls. We did not chat for long again.

I also received a greeting SMS from Sherry. How weird it could be for such a busy girl to do this? We used to chat a lot during the IRC days but time eventually got us separated. She moved on fast with the pace of this society but I was still straying and losing my way at the very beginning. Almost seven years of friendship and we had not taken any photo together, but I trusted her to keep her promise, unlike other friends.

After two o’clock, my mum returned home and gathered my siblings and I to invade Chinatown. Weirdly, this was the first year that I had visited Chinatown only during the last day of the pasar malam. We met up with my younger brother’s friends and started walking around. The place was still very crowded at three plus. Many people were partially blinded and had to bang into me even at spots where it was not so dense with people.

I hated the sticky floors. Uncivilised people had thrown wrappers all over the floor at their convenience, trying to turn down the title of the garden city. It was very boring for all the stalls were selling almost similar items like the previous year except there was this party gun which was cool but expensive. At around 4am, most of the stalls at the streets were already closing. A couple who just got there mistook that business was good, but actually, the owners were on curfew and had to stop operation around that time by law.

We went to Maxwell market. I was quite hungry but there were not many stalls left. All of us had bean curd type of dessert, which was quite fulfilling. Then, we strolled back to Tanjong pagar and waited for my younger brother’s friends to flag a cab home. We waited quite long and were entertained by two half drunk westerners.

I had to drain my bank account once again for my mum wanted us to contribute hundred bucks each for my auntie who was taking care of my sick uncle. Government did not offer enough help for the childless old couple who could not work for they still owned the 3-room flat even though their savings had almost depleted. In fact, I was not in any better situation.

Back at home, it took me quite a long time to settle my stuffs before going to bed. It was as early as 11am, I was waked up by my mum and younger brother. My younger brother seemed to be grumbling about either my elder brother or me, or both of us for bugging on the bed. I was very irritated.

We set off for my auntie’s house. Breakfast was chicken rice from the stall at the nearest bus-stop. The owner rented that stall for one day only once every year and that explained the quality of food. Anyway, we had takeaways and dined at my auntie’s house.

After eating, I dozed off as usual until a few visitors arrived and I was waked up by the noise. All the familiar faces I saw only once every year gave me a weird feeling, especially when receiving the red packets from them. Anyway, these were the only pathetic few small red packets from my mum’s side of relatives. In fact I was so used to it already and would be glad enough if friends were to believe my “income” was so low.

On the way home, my mum’s feet were giving her big problems again. I was not positive about how long she could still hold with such poor health condition. I expected my health to be worse than hers when I was as old as her for my injuries incurred.

It was a very sunny day but rain soon swept over areas in Singapore to welcome us into the new year of the lunar calendar. I spent my late afternoon playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3 after abandoning it for so long until dinner time. My younger brother wanted to dine out at Marina Square but my elder brother and mum decided to finish up the leftover food and thus we had steamboat again. The idea of making my whole body and work area stink turned me off so much.

Steamboat and BBQ

Since the barbecue platform was nearer to me, I did a lot of cooking for my mum and elder brother and was attacked by the flying oil many times as well.

Chinese New Year Eve 2007

[Saturday, 17 February, 2007]

The day began with dining with Weitat and Kailin at Geylang. We had our supper at Wang Jiao Dian Xin instead of You Tiao Da Wan for the latter shop was closed for the festival. Food was just alright but service was terrible.

While we were walking back to the car park, my mum called and when she heard a girl’s (Kailin’s) voice besides me, she just assumed that was Vivi. At this moment I did not know how I should feel. I did tell my mum before we were through already but somehow she did not get it or she refused to get it. Perhaps, she did not get to see Vivi often since long ago and that was why she was used to it, like me, that she did not realise it was history already.

Kailin drove me home and followed by Weitat. I was sleepy but energetic somehow, however, did not lead the route well enough that Kailin had to make a big round at Chinatown.

I continued with the clicking of the “hug” website for Suimin, and that was very time-consuming and dull. My elder brother was packing his house and finally there was some space for me to stand in front of the walk-in wardrobe to pack the stuffs. The room was so dusty that I had a few rounds of sneezing.

Afterwards was discussion with Irwin about his new website for the new product, the CLY phone charger. I continued to do my stuffs until daylight.

Having slept less than four hours, I was waked up by an agent enquiring about the Ang Mo Kio flat. I had by then totally forgotten about block 610 and only knew it was on the third level. So, it was another awkward time on the phone again.

I did not go back to sleep. I spent the afternoon more wisely on updating of my websites. My affiliation with Adsense was improving but still far from ideal case. It was however very frustrating that given the amount of page impressions, I could get more money from other advertisements source.

I started some packing of my work area. Then, I continued with a little cleaning up of the house in the late afternoon. My mum was doing quite dangerous chores in the kitchen. My elder brother was asleep the whole afternoon while my younger brother was out with his friends. I felt frustrated that I actually needed more sleep than my elder brother but I did not want to leave everything to my mum. She packed the living room’s table as well, which none of the rubbish on top belonged to me – that was why I could not and did not know how to pack it.

My younger brother returned during evening to add on extra shoes to the messy living room floor. I called him to come out from the bedroom later and questioned him about how many pairs of shoes wears he had on the floor but he did not care about the mess. Believe me it was impossible and that was why I had given up on the condition of the house since long ago.

The reason why I hated reunion dinner returned again. The big table was pulled nearer to my computer and there was so limited space. During dinner, the oily gas would fly to the computer with the fan blowing from the front. I quickly moved my webcam backwards in case it would be harmed.

My elder brother continued to sleep and my younger brother joined him soon but in the other room. The sleepiness and backache pinned me on the bed as well and when my mum started calling out for dinner, I tried so hard to ignore her. Eventually, I was the first to go to the living room, feeling so irritated that my siblings were not very bothered with the dinner.

My mum started two cooking sources, one for soup and another for steamboat. The dinner was quite alright for we were always helping each other to prevent the food from being burnt. I hated the oily smell on my body after steamboat but that could not be helped.

Fruits

At HDB

The Tan family

My neighbour, Tan Kok Hin came over with his daughter. He wanted to test his DVD but realised he could only use his burner to watch it. After that, my younger brother and I followed him back to his mum’s house. Actually I did not really want to go over in case they thought I was just greedy for ang bao. Luckily I received none.

We spent most of the time watching television there.

Greeting Card from Huiying

[Thursday, 15 February, 2007]

Comments

I received my first Chinese New Year card after so many years. The deliveryman was not from Singpost but my neighbour. The very inefficient postman had delivered letter to wrong unit again and luckily my neighbour took the trouble to pass it to me.

The card was from Huiying.

Anyway, she had promised to address her two younger sisters as her elder sisters “jie jie” so that I would address her as “mei mei”. Cool right?