I woke up on Saturday at 1pm, a rare luxury since I have to be up at half-past five every morning and be out of the house by 6 - 6.15 am to catch 2 buses to school/work. Instead of taking my time for coffee, I hurried to a ATM machine to withdraw money as I needed money to fill the red packets. Any later, there will be no more cash as everyone is doing the same. Furthermore, I was afraid that the supermart would run out of fresh vegetables to last me the next few days. Most supermarts close during Chinese New Year and this year, with the weekend, we get 4 days of celebration. I can have no meat but I must have my greens.
My family had an early reunion dinner on Saturday (instead of Sunday) where once again, we engaged in a high cholesterol Steamboat. Being Cantonese, we are very particular about the stock used for steamboat. My mother made a stock with Jin-Hua Ham, chicken, pork bones, corn and apple which was simmered for 6 hours. As usual, my brother's kamikaze way of eating was to have abalone, oyster, large prawns, scallop and squids besides the 'mundane' fishballs, fish, greens, mushroom and pork slices. My aunt and her family who live in Australia also brought along a big heap of top quality beef slices and more abalone.
But first, we must eat the customary tossing of Yusheng, a dish of fresh and pickled vegetables with raw fish. This year, we made do with 2 trays of Yusheng from Sakae Sushi as there was no time to order from the Paradise Group. I must say that Sakae's Yusheng was very good with its unique sauce and mushroom bits. The salmon was average but the Hamachi that my sister ordered was excellent.
This over-indulgence, I believe, is ingrained in our DNA. In the past, our Chinese ancestors had endured famine and great poverty in ancient China. So I guess that now we are affluent and able to afford, we kinda over-eat to compensate for whatever we were not able to. As much as I do not agree with this indulgence, my family members seem to think it was okay to indulge when it comes to CNY. Not wanting to be disagreeable and incur the wrath of my mother (since I do not plan to visit any of her/our relatives during the long weekend), I went along with the meal and when it ended, I "unhappily" gave out red packets to my mom, my niece, my cousins and my daughter even though it wasn't officially New Year yet.
Still, I welcome CNY as it means that I get to wake up naturally (and not at 5+ in the morning); I get to have more time to set test paper and mark assignments and of course, to be able to make new headbands for Valentines' Day at MAAD next month. But first I need to find another ATM as I have already spent all the S$500 that I withdrew on Saturday. No, I didn't spend all the money, I gave away my money in red packets and I have just S$10 left. Now, do you understand why CNY is not what I look forward to each year. With S$500, I can get 2 brand new fascinator hat block from Boon and Lane Or 20 Para sisal Hood from Manny's or 10 yards of Jinsin from Parkins. These are things I covert but have been putting off due to lack of cash. If only I can just hid myself during Chinese New Year and go AWOL. At least, I don't do rounds of visiting relatives... the most I do is attend reunion dinner.