The first three days of the New Year haven't exactly been a whirl of visiting, eating and other New Year festivities. There's been a goodly amount of food, but not as much as Ondine's encountered, mostly because the social situations we've been in haven't come saddled with the obligation to eat ourselves silly.
Also, there's always the excuse of feeling ill, which was an honest enough reason after we experienced three near-death experiences during a 20-minute cab ride yesterday. Ironically (I think), the license plate of the cab was SHA9000. Maybe the driver thinks that the '9' ('九'), which in Mandarin sounds like the character for 'a long time', means that he'll be driving for a long time, no matter how many stupid risks he takes on the road and how hard he tries to wipe himself (and his passengers) out.
Anyway, for tscd's benefit, here's a list of everything I've been eating since New Year's Eve:
- pineapple tarts
- love letters
- kok zai (deep-fried peanut puffs)
- Mandarin oranges
- a few mouthfuls of spaghetti bolognaise
- leftover steamboat soup, chock-full of meat
- kueh lapis
- bak kwa
- chicken curry
- kong bak (fatty stewed pork) in bao (buns)
- a mouthful of hamburger off the barbecue grill
- 2 stalks of celery
- a handful of potato chips
- 2 Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies
- some leftover roast duck and siow bak (fatty pork)
- Taiwanese pineapple tarts
- Sarpino's pizza
Of course, not all of it qualifies as traditional Chinese New Year food, although Sarpino's may be gaining ground as such, given its regular appearance at our New Year get-togethers.
On the first day of the New Year, I was sitting by at the various family gatherings, watching my grandparents among the rest of the extended family, and it occurred to me that even though all I had was my crappy cellphone camera, some pictures of the grandparents for my cousins living overseas would be better than none at all.
On the second day of the New Year, we were at Uncle's and I listened to Shea read her book and helped her with the words she had trouble with, and even though I swear to God I was paying close attention to her at the time, I cannot for the life of me now remember the title of the book. All I know is that it was a pop-up book about a ladybird trying to get home and how the other insects --- including a spider, some ants and maybe a grasshopper, or was it a stick insect? --- helped her to get across the various obstacles in the garden.
On the third day of the New Year (i.e. today), I played two hands of mahjong, that was it. And when I say two hands, what I mean is that we didn't even complete one round for one wind --- just one game, a second game, and we were done. Yeah, it doesn't feel right to me too.
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