Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Chinese New's been awhile...

Yes, it's definitely been awhile since I updated my blog. I was too lazy to blog...what to do when the laziness strikes...Let's start from the beginning. January 12th, I went to Juin's house to watch a pre-recorded concert of LeeHom then we went for some town eating koay teow soup and leng chee kang for dessert. Then we went to Haagen-Dazs (I hope I spelled it correctly). I never been to Haagen-Dazs before for the past 19 plus plus years of my life. My first time eating the famous Haagen-Dazs ice-cream. Frankly speaking, I'm someone who is really stingy and well around 20 bucks for an ice-cream would probably scream "Don't You Dare Eat It" but hey, there's always a first time for everything, so I tried it. We ordered a Chocolate fondue which is for more people and less money (remember the stingy girl seems like a really great idea). It was yummy especially for me as I am a big big big fan of chocolate which is why my waistline is getting big big big too.
(Haagen Dazs Chocolate Fondue....yummy!!!)
( Me and We Ping at the entrance of Golden Gate)
(Inside the Golden Gate Restaurant)

We did some stuff past this month. Not much since everyone is pretty busy...some of us are working (me, Hui Ping and Hui Ting), some studying (Siaw Ping, Jane, Juin, Wei Ping) We spend less time together but we try to go out as much as possible. Last week I even went to a steamboat dinner with all of them. Juin invited us to dinner with her family at Golden Gate which is a steamboat restaurant for Chinese new Year on the third day of New Year which was the 9th of February. It was pretty fun...we bought her family a hamper to thank them for inviting us. Later we went clubbing.Clubbing you say...this is only the second time I decided to join Hui Ting and Siaw Ping for clubbing. I'm not much of the clubbing kind since I detest smoking and clubs are pratically filled with smoke from cigarettes and you'll smell so digusting when you go home when you find out your whole clothes are smelly. This time it was better than last time but the club we went to was pretty crowded...actually very crowded. We went to Mois...pretty cool that we get to get in the club without having to line up as some of our friends have 'contacts' inside. We were all dressed up and dolled up with make-up...not really actually. We got to the make-up part only when we arrived there in our car and did make-up in the car. I danced more this time since I was wearing flat shoes and not heels like last time which hurt my feet badly. I had fun...was much better than the first time...although I don't really like drinking beer. Vodka with coke taste so much nicer.

(The entrance of Mois..pretty cool huh)
(Inside the's a bit too dark for my you can see hardly anything)

Chinese New Year was on the 7th of February and like years before, I woke up and took a bath...wear some new outfit and off we go to collect angpows....what are angpows...well basically there are red coloured packets with money in it. It's a tradition these days for the married people to give some lovely red packets to those unmarried. Count yourself lucky if you are single and unmarried cos you'll be getting them...I went up to Tanjung Bungah which is where I lived years ago when I was just a little kid. (That's where my father's side of my family lives)
Exchange oranges and red packets. Eat some cookies and drink some chrysanthemum tea and talk. Then visit Rifle Range Flats where my mom's family reunites mostly. Chinese New Year (CNY) is all about reunion and reminiscence. Family and friends gather to have reunions and celebrate. This year CNY seems less important (still important just less a bit)to me....when I was a kid, I anxiously wait for this time of the year to get angpau but lately since I'm more grown-up, I look less forward to it. Considering you have to spend expenses on celebrating CNY like cleaning up the house and decorating it with anything red and bright or buying new clothes or buying drinks, oranges and food for people who visits. Don't get me wrong I still like CNY very much. Afterall, when do you experience more festive and happy celebration than CNY....there's fireworks everywhere, lion dancing, people laughing, gambling (yes, we play poker, mahjong and all kinds of card games), eating, talking, and a lot of noises. There's lots of praying to the Gods involved too. There's the praying to the Kitchen God before the CNY starts or the prayers on the birthday of the Jade emperor on the 9th day of the new year which is actually held midnight of the 8th day. Mostly only Hokkien and Teochew prays on the day and since I'm of each half, I celebrate too. This is actually probably even more festive than the first day of CNY as you can see everyone setting up altars to pray to the Jade Emperor and burning of incense and papers and the very loud noises of firecrackers everywhere. Come to think of it, I really like Chinese New Year....especially when I win a few quick ringgits in playing mahjong or cards with my cousin...haha. There's still Chap Goh Meh, the fifteen night and the last day we celebrate CNY. It is said that throwing oranges into the sea will bring you a suitor if you are single. ( I think it is pretty ridiculous these days as I imagine the sea being dirty and it is dark at night no one is going to see the oranges you throw into the sea and you probably would just pollute the sea more. This kind of thing are much more suited in the past) Anyway the government has banned the tradition too. The government banned fireworks but hey you still see fireworks on festivals don't you? Maybe some really desperate love-sick girls will try and throw some oranges just for luck....try writing your phone number and name and stick it on the orange will make whoever who found the orange find you quicker....hehe. Happy Chinese New Year again and may this year bring good health and prosperity to everyone. Oh, happy belated Valentine's Day too. It's meaningless to me as I don't even have a valentine. But to those lovers out there...all the best in your relationships and Happy Valentine's Day...

(The praying to the Jade emperor...the altar and offerings)

(The burning of papers to the Gods)

Before I forget all about Kulim, I want to write it down. I visited Kulim this year on the 2nd day of CNY and got more angpows...that's one of the main reason I follow my mom and grandma to visit relatives in Kulim...for their angpows. I didn't know Kulim has modernised so much as I haven't visited Kulim for years. I didn't even know Kulim is where St. Anne's Church and Santuary is. It was such a huge area and looks so majestic and beautiful. Kulim has really beautiful houses....bangalow and semi-detached houses that would cost at least RM 200 thousand in Penang can be found at a price less. We went through Taman Perda which has really nice houses. Even though Kulim has some modern houses, it still have huge areas of plantation such as palm oil plantation and vegetable farm. I even saw a few chicken and duck farms....the trip was worth the time after all since I get to see temples and churches, farms and buildings...It was nice to see difeerent places beside my dear old Penang. After all, I'm such a small town girl who knows nothing and it's good to learn more about different places.