Wherein I Celebrate a Not-so-happy Chinese New Year

The festive season has finally passed, with the end of the accursed Chinese New Year. I hate the festival, despite the monetary benefits that come with it and make my friends so happy. The act of receiving money from relatives just feels somewhat demeaning for me, as is the constant questioning of whether I will be married soon. The past years have also seen a new irritance – the mistaking of my younger brother as the older sibling. I don’t blame them, of course, you see. He is taller and better built than me, as well as being a lot more forthcoming and bold in his mannerism. But to have to keep telling people year after year that you’re the older one and having them laugh out loud, as if it were a joke of cosmic proportions, because “Wow! I wouldn’t have been able to tell unless you told me! Wahahahaha!” is tiring. Especially when the mistake is compounded by the statement of me looking really young and the “gosh, you’re really 24 this year? Better find a girlfriend then.” Having to face such stupid relatives every year wears me down. Hell, I visit them only once a year and I can remember their faces well enough to greet them if I see them in public, you’d think they’d be able to recognize my place in my family.

Another bad thing that happens yearly is the Chinese New Year sore throat and flu. You see, my family is plagued with a somewhat less-than-ideal immune system, and every year at this period, when the pineapple tarts and assorted yummy tidbits march out to chinese songs of blessing, at least one of us ends up sick. It was me this year. I now have this horrible sore throat and my tonsils(or some other part of my throat) are heavily inflammed, rendering me unable to swallow anything harder than oatmeal soaked in milk. It’s worse this year than other years, because both my usually voracious siblings are on diets, and the goodies were left to only myself to finish. My parents, entering that time of their life when old age begins to prevent them from enjoying anything too sweet of flavourful, also gave up on the things. And I, foolish glutton that I am, bit off more than I could chew. Or in this case, swallow.

Ah – and the last thing I hate about this festival? The sheer business. When I was younger, my parents would drag me to relatives’ homes all over Singapore. It was tiring, having to go out so many times a week, and to stay at some hideously boring place for hours at a stretch whilst the big people talked their boring talk. I swore then that when I grew up I would go out and do things that were fun – and dump my parents for their rounds. And so I have been doing this year – except that having fun can be just as tiring. Been out and about the last few days with friends(I had no idea I had accumulated so many), which probably hasn’t done any good for my throat, and run me quite ragged.In the end I crawled back home to spend a most relaxing day with my parents, relishing in the quiet serenity of my father’s gentle snores and the ever-present television sounds.

Sadly, danger lies beneath silent lakes. Whilst I lay peacefully on the sofa half-asleep, mother asked me if I would like to meet one of her nice, young colleagues. That woke me up instantly. I turned her down flat, of course(though if any of you would like to get to know a nice, young teacher you’re welcome to her), and beat a hasty retreat back to hall. It turns out that both siblings, besides forgoing food, have also given up on significant others. The lack of her offsprings’ boy/girl-friends has mother worried for grandchildren and channeled them onto her eldest’s failures in the region. Blind dates arranged by mother? I haven’t sunk so low yet. With luck my siblings’ nice new waistlines will attract some soon, pulling me out of the danger zone.

That’s all, I guess. A rather boring little post for a rather boring little holiday.

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