We’re barely a month into 2017 and its already another new year – Chinese New Year (CNY) – life’s second chance. Therefore, I’ve decided that my 2017 starts again on February 1st… January was a trial month. With that being said, 2016 was the Year of Monkey and it’s no more monkey business; time for the real deal.
Being born and raised in Kuala Lumpur (KL) has been quite a privilege. This is because during CNY, I don’t have to be part of the massive crawl back to the hometown – wherever and however far it may be. The roads and highways in KL itself becomes devoid of cars, especially at peak hours. Its a breeze zooming from one end of town to the other. But of course, drive within the speed limits, because the car workshops are closed and the doctors are on leave for holiday.
The town has become a ghost town. Restaurants, shops, and offices have closed for the new year. Even shopping malls have become deserted. Shopping outlets – telecommunication stores, clothing departments, and cafes – have also closed for the new year. The only thing left open are the mamaks restaurants. No dim sum, wantan mee, and teh kecil in the morning but more roti canai, nasi lemak, and mee goreng for the next few days. Huat Ah!!
On the eve of CNY, we gathered together for a reunion dinner at my grandmother’s house (my mother’s mother). We ate poon choi (👈🏻 click the link for more info), which cost a whopping RM500++ per pot, and we ordered 2 pots of poon choi! 😱 So you do the maths.
From Chor Yat (translated as the 1st day of CNY), its the start of the endless reunions, house visitations, greetings, snacking, drinking, loh sangs, and reunion dinners for the next two weeks. I think during CNY, I’ve drank and eaten more sugar and snacks than in my birthday, Christmas, and other auspicious events combined in a year.
Its a joy to visit the family, cousins, long lost relatives and friends at a reunion or a house visitation. After all the CNY greetings and well-wishes; the yearly, awkward, and unavoidable questions pop out:
- What are you studying?
- Where are you working? What are you working as?
- Where is your boyfriend or girlfriend?
- When are you getting married?
- Because the aunties and uncles want to reduce their annual CNY ang pow output.
- When are you getting a baby?
- When is your baby getting married? 😱 (Ok, maybe a bit too much…)
QuestionS time is over and when ALL the questions have been answered, time for snacks and drinks to quench the thirst.
*Stares at all the CNY cookies*
Me: “WHOSE YOUR DADDY? COME TO PAPA”
*Munches on all the snacks and forgets about lunch*
Credit: Sean Tan
After all the makan-makan, we move to the next house and to the next for visitations. The houses may be next door, down the road, or across town, but its worth the journey. The ang pows collected from as little as RM2 to as much as RM100 or more individually, are worth the journey 🤑 . Sometimes secretly eyeing the aunties who give RM2 ang pows in the Year of Monkey, or Year of Goat ang pow packets, when its 2017 and Year of Rooster.😑 😑 #doublekill
Nevertheless, its the festive season. Its the season to celebrate, fei-lo-ship, and be prosperous. Eat, drink, snack, and loh to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content. Happy Chinese New Year. GONG XI FA CAI!!!!
I’ve decided that my 2017 starts again on February 1st… January was a trial month.
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