Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011

山珍海味,再怎么美味,也不会比团圆饭来的好吃。 
异国风光,再怎么绮丽,也不会比一家团圆来的温馨。 

Tan Keng Yaw, CNY Eve, 2011 



"No matter how good a delicacy taste, it doesn't come close to the deliciousness of family reunion."
"No matter how scenic a foreign country can be, it doesn't bring the warmth of family reunion."
translated by Kae Vin

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Happy Chinese New Year and here's wishing you guys to multiply like bunnies nine months later!

Okay, I was just kidding on the second part haha! Yes, yes, I know what is running through your mind. You must be wondering why this fella is wishing everyone "Gong Xi Fa Cai" when most of us have gone back to school and started working right? Never mind, just take it as if I am doing a siaran tertunda (delayed telecast) lol! Besides, I think it is still not too late to post up this entry because we are only halfway through the fifteen-day CNY celebration. Well, I was busy with my finals through the past one week or so, which explains why it took me more than one week to make an update on the New Year.

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Decided to treat myself to some Chinese food at 海鮮餃子帆船 (Kaisen Gyoza Janku) near my house.

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回鍋肉 (Hui Guo Rou), literally "meat that has been returned to the pot, which is a well-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish. 

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Spend my CNY eve with my books. Anyway, Mummy said must wear red red on New Year, that's why you see a red (not blue, for once) monster there lol!

Unlike the past three years, where we used to have a simple reunion dinner among ourselves at kosen (technical college), this time I had quite, or should I say, a very quite dinner, ALONE. How pathetic is that? Imagine you are aware that your family members are gathering back home, having the reunion dinner with good food in such lau juak atmosphere and you are stuck here in a cold winter night, unable to go home and join them.

It that is still not bad enough, most of us who are studying in Japan have to sit for our finals during this period of the year. Blame it on the Japanese education calender, which timing is kinda unfriendly to us who celebrate the Lunar New Year. So, instead of having Mandarin oranges and receiving ang paos at home, we have our books and notes to accompany us throughout the night.

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A simple bowl of somen with mushroom, meat and fried tofu.

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My twin towers of Mandarin oranges, which formed two 11-digits to mark the year 2011.

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A different formation - pyramid oranges with another orange which someone sent to me from far far away.

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Dinner on the first day of the New Year was at some restaurant nearby as well.

Though I had to spend my fourth-straight New Year away from home, there is still something which I continue to do every time New Year comes - that is to prepare a bowl of mee sua as the first meal on the first day of New Year. However, my mee sua has run out of stock, so I substituted it with Japanese somen, which is quite similar to mee sua.

Kai Cung had gone back several days before the New Year, so I was practically left behind to spend my New Year here. On the brighter note, I had my textbooks to accompany me every night haha! Damn sad, right? To cure the loneliness, a phone call back home has never failed to cheer me up. I called home one night and all my aunties, uncles and cousins were at my grandma's place. Listening to the background sound, which is like a pasar malam made me miss home more than ever.

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An e-card which was sent to me by my junior, Hong Hao.

Four years has passed since I get to celebrate the New Year at home. To be honest, I feel that the excitement of this festive season has slowly faded from myself. I have at least another CNY to spend abroad until I finally get to spend it with my beloved ones. Until then, I shall end this entry with a video, which I think perhaps one of the best video I have seen, which somehow made me see myself in the video.

My Mom used to be computer illiterate. Holding a mouse used to be something very scary to her, afraid that a monster might appear from nowhere if she clicks on the wrong button.  That however, didn't stop her from learning from zero, because she knows that's the only way she will be able to see her son, thousand of miles away. Now, she can Skype with me and send me e-mails once in a while, all by herself. I just gotta say that I am so proud of her.


I watched it three times and on all three occasions, it moved me to tears. To those of you who failed to spend at least some time with your family members, especially your Mom and Dad during the last CNY, shame on you. You will only learn how to appreciate them when it is too late.

It is still never too late now. A phone call back home means the world to them.

18 comments:

Zzzyun said...

really like the video, very touching. even posted it on FB.

Chung Min said...

Happy Chinese New Year Calvin....

DT said...

so kesian to see u eat those meals alone at CNY.. and yet it's great to see that the distance has brought u closer at heart to ur home ... :)
anyway inconjunction with the jade emperor festival... wish ya "HUAT" ah.... :D

calvin said...

@ zzzyun:
yup, i was watching it alone on new year's eve the other night and the message portrayed in the video was just too strong that i was unable to stop weeping. it was just too touching =\

i am sure you share the same feeling, as you study abroad as well.

calvin said...

@ chung min:
black cat! so happy to see you leave a message here. short but sweet. thanks a lot!

will catch up with you guys in a week's time!

calvin said...

@ dt:
yup, it looks pathetic and pitiful. however, when i think about millions of people from the other parts of the world who are much more unfortunate than me, i will feel blessed that i still able to get a decent meal, although the company was missing.

yup, we human, including myself somehow just tend to take things for granted. we will only appreciate something when it is gone.

being a hokkien lang, it's a second new year in a week, isn't it? thanks for the wish and wish you "huat" like "huat kueh" too xD

did you pai thi kong last night? i have missed it five years in succession =\

DT said...

yupe... was up late last nite until 3:30am.. pai tnee kong. :)
it was a small family occasion.

calvin said...

@ dt:
i miss those times when we will stay up through the night, enjoying the food right after we finished praying and burn the thee kong sar and kim, only to struggle to wake up early in the next morning for school.

sweet memories, they are :)

DT said...

yupe.. had a midnight feast of "chu bi", "ang koo", ang ee" etc. no roast pork though coz we only prayed with non-meat stuff

calvin said...

@ dt:
sweet =)
i actually like the idea of praying with just vegetarian stuff because i think the thee kong also must be thinking that there are just too much of pork to have in just one night, if everyone is going to pray "sio tu" :P

i miss "ang koo" so much. "pek chu bi" as well. will go and get them from pasar next week =D

DT said...

huh? can get in Japan's pasar?

sakura said...

the restaurant in the first pic looks warm and cosy..

btw, that's a very touching video T.T
viewed it so many times and shared it with my friends~ thx!

calvin said...

@ dt:
errr, not really. i will get it from the pasar malam in malaysia next week. that's quite an obvious hint, isn't it? xD

calvin said...

@ sakura:
the restaurant was not bad; it was my first time going there ;)

yup, i think we managed to relate it to ourselves, because the same thing happens to us as well. simple but very strong message from the video :)

DT said...

hahaha.. i was pretending to be naive lar... :P

calvin said...

@ dt:
haha! you are getting better in this, ain't you? =P

kae vin said...

eh I saw my translation! :D

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
yup, and i think it's more apt to credit you on that translation xD