Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CNY Reunion Dinner

It reads, "Happy Niu (Ox) Year".
The reunion dinner we had was so much better than my initial thought.
Rewinding the time to one year ago, we had a simple and low-key celebration because CNY was in the middle of our finals. Hence, everybody except the two 5th year senpais, William and Fong Zyin wasn't really in the mood to celebrate the New Year. This year however, it got a little bit better because our finals will only start one-and-a-half week later.
The honey cornflakes I made when I got too bored with my books.
The last two pieces of pineapple tarts I got from Malacca.
Well, those are the only New Year cookies for me this year.
My mom used to boiled us thong sui (sweet dessert soup) on the first day of CNY every single year. She learned that from my grandma and it has somewhat become a tradition for us to drink longan water with some other traditional herbs like red dates and kee chi. As I brought some of them over to Japan, I made this water on the eve, just like what I did last year. Besides the longan dessert, mee sua is something very common to the Chinese community. It is like an automatic meal for our breakfast on the first day of CNY for my family.
Mee sua and longan water with red dates.
Okay, I guess this post is slowly turning away from the main topic, which is the reunion dinner. Back to the dinner, we went out and shopped for the ingredients in the afternoon that in the end, it took us more than three hours. Can't blame us because it was snowing and hence it made our movement slower. We straight went to the kitchen and prepare the food for the steamboat we were having that night. To save time, we just used the chicken stock cubes to prepare the soup. The irony is, we had two types of soup although it was getting late and our stomach was calling already.
The preparations didn't took us long because we have five of us here. Since we do not have a proper steamboat set, we just used the pot usually used for cooking soup. We used not one, but two pots, for two kind of soups, chicken and tom yam.
We got chicken, pork, fish, mushrooms, tofu, siew kao, meatball and of course eggs.
Miss Jo making sure the tom yam soup doesn't taste weird.
Two couples? (inside joke)
Here's the tom yam soup with the poor tomato.
There is a story behind the poor tomato. Ming Jing bought one tomato, and she planned to used it for the tom yam soup. When Joann came in and saw that tomato inside the plastic bag, she began to laugh at it saying that that tomato is so lonely because we only bought one. So, we cut it into four and by doing that, that tomato was not lonely anymore because he had three extra friends already. Too bad, we ate all of them in the end.
After everything was ready, we started feasting on the food. While eating, we took pictures.
The timer was too fast that I didn't get to grab a chair.

We eat and eat and eat for more than an hour, that one by one started to fell full already. But we only finished half of the food on the table. So, we decided to do a second round on the following night. We went up to our rooms first to take some rest before we got to the kitchen again for the countdown. The rest went there much earlier than me, because I was chatting online with my family and Mich. Of course not both at the same time, I let them take turns to chat with me; like say, ten minutes for each of them. If they wish to extend the time allocated for them, then they have to give me extra ang pao money. See, I still can claim ang pao money despite being separated thousand of miles away from home haha.
The rest who were there earlier started the party first. Ming Jing baked a cheese cake for all of us. It is always nice to have juniors who are good in baking. Lucky Wei Shen.
Rich cheese cake with raisins as toppings.

Busy sending and replying New Year's messages and gambling.
One of the funniest moment that sent all of us bursting into laughter was when we called one of our junior in Wakayama Kosen, Gane - an Indian, who speaks fluent Mandarin. So, we tried to tease him and asked what he did on that night. So he explained to us that he joined the rest for their own reunion dinner at their kitchen on the same night. We then questioned him, asking him why he joined them because he is not a Chinese but he retaliated and kept saying that he's accepted in the community already. Next, we asked him if he received any New Year wishes on his phone.
  • Nagaoka: So, who are the other blur people who sent you CNY messages?
  • Gane: No lor, besides you, I only got from Wan Ying and Bik Yee.
  • Nagaoka: HAHAHA, of course la! What do you expect? You think you're a Chinese isit? Super perasan can! It's not Deepavali lah. Somemore dunno paiseh and wanna wait for people to wish you Happy CNY... *tsk tsk tsk*
(the conversation above was taken lightly as silly jokes and absolutely has no racism sentiment in it, so please do not comment that we are trying to evoke racism sentiment here)
And we laughed for so long - more than one minute I think and left that poor boy waiting on the phone, before continue crapping with him again. That Gane is super funny I tell you. But he is sporting enough to take our jokes and that made everything so much fun.
Sadly, there wasn't any fireworks nor firecrackers when the clock stroked midnight. But here comes the interesting part. Japan is one hour ahead of Malaysia. So, when it's midnight in Japan, it's only eleven in Malaysia. So, is that considered past midnight already or not? Same thing happen whenever I celebrate other days like birthdays and anniversaries. To make that simple, we did the countdown twice. Once at twelve, and another time when it is one in the morning.
This was at twelve midnight.
We waited for another hour and shouted again for the second time at one in the morning.
Just in case you wonder why both of the pictures were taken so accurately that even the second-hand is positioned at twelve sharp, Yan Kuang actually took out the battery. So, that explains everything.


Anonymous said...

haha,i just knew Yk will took out the battery for sure~~
gane just like to be wished happy CNY*keke*
and again,Gong Xi gong Xi!!!

Kae Vin said...

Cool......I guess you guys had a lot of fun doing all those... :)

and....let's see if any pple raise the issue....XD

Anonymous said...

excuse me , what issue is there to be raised ? cmon la , dun sensitize every single thing , not everyone is that shallow minded ok ? -.-

Anonymous said...

and i was not commenting at ur post calvin , but its for ANYONE that decides to INVOKE or CREATE an issue

calvin said...

@ lyk:
haha, of course you would. roommates for two long year, there is surely nothing you don't know about him, right? xD

poor boy, but i guess gane had great fun. that could be his first ever reunion dinner =)

and happy new year to you too :)

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
that's what those living in oversea would do, i guess. but nothing is better than celebrating it at home =)

i am still waiting =P

calvin said...

@ pretiv:
well, not everyone, but there are still people who cannot different between a joke and fact. that is when a war of words will start. that is why i put a short note there, just in case those people try to make a meal out of it.

but i guess we are all matured enough to think rationally, unlike some we-know-who-they-are quarters ;)

cheers mate =)

kattrrrrri said...

Aaah I love this blog! I'm also coming to Nagaoka this year, but for senior high excange (Nagaoka Koryo senior high school) for a year. I'm totally going to follow this blog : ) What time hanami usually comes to nagaoka (what month for ex)? And is there any good shopping malls (clothes fo women) in Nagaoka? Thank you if you would like to answer :)

Anonymous said...

great post again .And yeah , i agree with pretiv , there shouldnt be any issue , i mean , has there been any racist issues invoked on ur blog before ?If yes , can i know what post is it, as im sure u didnt mean anything bad :)

Wee Kien said...

cut tomato into 4?? 4 is not a gud no for cny la!! Anyway hepi cny!!

calvin said...

@ katori:
sounds great. the high school you are going is located at the opposite site of my kosen, across the shinano river. feel free to ask me any question about nagaoka and i will try and answer them :)

in the northern region of japan, people usually go for hanami during the first two weeks of april. yukyuzan park is one of the place you can go for hanami if you are interested. you can look for my hanami posts from the archive section :)

and yes, there are a couple of shopping malls here (apita and jusco), which also has a cinema (next to apita) which was newly opened last year.

i guess you don't have to worry much about transportation because there are bus services to almost any places around the town.

i just wonder one thing. where are you from? if you don't mind, would you introduce yourself briefly? thanks =)

calvin said...

@ duke of mask:
as far as i could remember, there isn't any post where i was condemned for raising the sensitive issue. even if i ever talked about it, it was meant to be taken lightly and nothing more than that =)

calvin said...

@ chwk87:
that's how we usually cut tomatoes, no? how often you see people cutting them into seven or eleven pieces?

ohh, maybe eight is a better option xD

happy chinese new year to you too ^.^

TZ said...

Happy 牛 year... :)

calvin said...

@ tz:
happy new year to you as well =)

kattrrrrri said...

calvin: Sorry, of course I can :--) I found you from google, when I was finding information about nagaoka city. I'm from far north, Finland. I come to Japan around end of March, so I think I'm going to see hanami. I live in hostfamily near my school. I come with international youth exchange program leader, AFS. Aaa, shopping malls! Here where I live in Finland is about 3000 people :p (in this town) so nagaoka would be pretty big place for me. My hosts address is in the place called Minaminanokamachi, can you tell what kind of living are is it? :) Thanks again!

calvin said...

@ katori:
ohh i see, you came from the scandinavian. i will be having my spring break from the last week of february until the first week of april. since you are coming around that time, i guess you will be able to experience the hanami here.

nagaoka is the second largest city in niigata prefecture, after niigata city. there are quite a big number of foreigners here, both studying and working in this place. i guess you will enjoy your stay here throughout the whole year, while experiencing the rich japanese culture. if there is one thing niigata is famous for, it would be the rice. the rice here is said to be the most delicious throughout japan and i have to say i truly agree with it =)

unfortunately, i am not very sure where minaminanokamachi is, but i guess it won't be too far from the town :)

kattrrrrri said...

calvin: Ok thanks for information :) I'm so excited about coming there! Luckily I like japanese food a lot.

calvin said...

@ katori:
no problem. enjoy your stay here and i'm sure you will love the food and place very much =)