Skip to main content

Chinese New Year in Singapore

This Chinese New Year, I must have been crowned the most ungrateful child in the family. Reason being, I am 397 km, 10-hour train ride, 5-hour coach ride, 45-minute air travel, away from home. It seems absolutely no reason why I’m not going home for the Lunar New Year celebration.

BUT. There are:

1. I’m in a teaching job that requires me to make up for any lecture I missed due to holidays. So taking extra days off work just isn’t worth it. I will have to go back to work facing an unnecessary load of work.

2. The Singapore-Malaysia causeway is a hell on earth during weekends, especially festive and holiday seasons.

3. The train station is highly inaccessible, and the KTM online ticketing service is forever down. After all, the train tickets are sold out eons ago.

4. Flight tickets and the Singapore airport tax are frighteningly expensive.

SO. I decided to stay and have a quiet New Year, on my own. Boohoo…

It’s not exactly my first time of spending Chinese New Year away from home. I spent the last three in England. But, it was cold and breezy, and nice (and yes, I love the cool weather. I’m not a ‘trendy’ person and have never bought into the “sun, sea, and sand are paradise” notion sold by magazines and bikini designers. And yes, I’m boring - whatever). All businesses were open as usual besides Chinese takeaways, but who cares? I do my own cooking anyway. And it was university term time so one of my favourite spots, the library, was open. Plus, I was with my earth boyfriend D (not sure if he is one of us - we never talked about it), minus the hassles from my own family (hehehe).

SO. My first Chinese New Year in Singapore. It is a totally new experience. It is a Chinese dominated country so hardly anything is open for business on the first day of Chinese New Year, except for a handful of western food outlets and caf├ęs. But it is quiet for once.

Still, I would rather stay in if I had a choice. That way I don’t have to put up with the expensive but choking perfume from the woman sitting at the next table, or the lame music (or worse, Celine Dion or Modern Talking) they play at the outlet, and the hot sun while walking from one place to another. But the fact that I am only renting an extremely expensive room in an apartment shared with five other [rather messy] people, I can’t bear to do any cooking in that filthy and less than equipped kitchen so I have to eat out.

Out of no choice, I was out again on the second day. When I walked in to Cold Storage supermarket, it was surprisingly peaceful with some mellow sounding French ballads playing in the air. Absolutely refreshing (not a common scene in Singapore, must be some French product promotion going on) compared to those days prior to the Chinese New Year. It was then blasted with horrible sounding, cheesy Chinese-New-Year-theme songs. I had to have my MP3 plugged in on full blast, constantly. When I say Chinese-New-Year-theme songs, I meant nothing like the traditional Chinese classical music, but the highly commodified modern songs written for Chinese New Year, sung by commercial singers who can’t sing to save their lives, or worse, by some Singapore MediaCorp “artistes” (so-called actors and actresses from Singapore TV broadcast company).

They say, you have to have these songs to project the Chinese-New-Year-mood, I heard a man saying that on the news, when interviewed. The tradition is in me. I do not need some so-called Chinese-New-Year-music to get me in the mood. When one’s siblings come home to reunite, he or she should feel that mood automatically. Moderate festive decoration is nice, but do we need to fill the whole house with everything red? An exceptionally better-than-usual meal is great, when you can enjoy them with the whole family. But do we need to absolutely have that “latest must-have reunion set meal designed just for 2007, the year of the boar”, which comes with abalone, scallops, oysters and whatsoever unnecessarily expensive ingredients that will boost nothing but our poor egos, as advertised in the media?

Oh yes, we MUST. And the merchants win again.


Popular posts from this blog

Change Of Driving Direction On Just 1 Road In Petaling Jaya - Left To Right, Then Back To Left Within A Month!

Just when I'm about getting used to this 1 road in Petaling Jaya being changed to right side driving last month, walking across this road this morning, it has just been changed back to left side driving!!!

Picture taken on 3 Feb 2018

Picture taken this morning
Not that I would complain about it being reverted back to normal, but is this really a matter can be taken so lightly that some "authority" can just decide to change twice in such a short period of time? What exactly is the standard of healthy & safety of this country?
Or should I just be thankful that no one got killed because of that? Mind you, that's only my hopeful assumption.

All I want for Christmas

I love Christmas, but I have much reservation about the notion that, to celebrate Christmas means that you will have to buy something for someone, and subordinate completely to commodity without much thought. Every time I feel like buying something for my friends, I tend to think that I might be adding to: Their clutter - excessive wrapper and trimmings on top of gifts that my friends may have no idea what to do with. Do they throw them away? I may feel unappreciated. Do they reuse or recycle them? That may be too much work for them. They may just throw the wrapping paper away, but it’s still an unnecessary contribution to the landfill.Their chores - things like flowers, nice. But they would have to get the water changed everyday, and I will worry about what they would do when the flowers are dead. I normally bury them, but I can’t possibly expect all of my friends to do that too.Their extreme hassle and guilt as they may have no idea what to say to me - if they totally do not like wh…

Left Driving? Right Driving? Overnight Change Of Driving Rule On Just 1 Road In Petaling Jaya

The last time I checked, Malaysia is a left-hand driving country - at least that's how I remembered it. However, walking to work one morning, a familiar road has been changed to right-hand driving. I was just about to tell the driver off for driving on the wrong side of the road, only to realise that I was the one who was in the WRONG.

I have absolutely no idea why this particular road had a change in driving rule overnight, all I know is that this is a really dangerous thing to do, and that it probably can only happen in this country.

Another fame to the Boleh Land! I can only pray that no one gets hurt because of this.