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.

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