Singapore’s more like China than China

CNY Celebrations at Sota 23

It’s been as busy as we’ve expected this Chinese New Year, and with Kai nursing a new cold (how many do babies get in their first year?), we were expecting even less sleep than usual, and we were right.

That’s not to say we haven’t been enjoying time with our families and relatives jetting in from all parts of Asia.

Our sister-in-law from Shanghai tells us that the only thing about coming to Singapore for the CNY holidays is that when you want to do a spot of shopping on the first or second day of CNY, you’re probably going to be limited to Mustafa’s or a few other smallish shops.

I said that was because Singapore is becoming more like China, as more and more companies seem to be observing more “Chinese traditions” as a result of employing more (Mainland) Chinese workers.

But I’ve now been told that by our good sister-in-law that that’s bunk, and that in Shanghai, most of the shops are open throughout the New Year.

The music they play in hell

We had to go out to Paragon today because Kai had to see the doctor to get some medication for his cold.

We’re all a bit under the weather, but we managed to soldier on because Paragon’s common areas didn’t play that infernal racket known as Chinese New Year music. The individual shops and the supermarket were another matter. We had instantaneous severe migraine to add to our flu the moment we stepped in to pick up groceries for dinner.

President Obama, I give you the solution to the war in Afghanistan: just send your humvees and choppers into the mountains blaring this the music they play in hell, and I guarantee you, the Taliban will be flushed from their caves, surrendering in shock and awe.

Click here and bleed from your ears

Have we lo’d enough hei yet?

Lo hei

We’ve lo hei’d three times this Chinese New Year, which isn’t a lot, but there’s only so much raw fish and crackers you can manage. Especially when there are pregnant women in the family.

Still it’s great to be able to make a mess at the dinner table and say we’re conforming with tradition even though we know the practice was invented by a Chinese restaurant chef who didn’t know what to do with leftover slivers of raw fish, crackers and some condiments, and he’d run out of gas and electricity, so he wasn’t able to cook them. Or something.

I didn’t ask my dad about this, but he seemed very into the lohei this year, looking as though he was concentrating on the task at hand (and chopsticks), even though this tossing fish and sundry all over the table business comes more naturally to him because he has Parkinson’s.

Busy busy busy

English style what?

No, I’m not on blogging hiatus or anything like that. I thought I’d better blog a bit so that I’ll meet whatever blogging criteria put up by the Association of Singapore Bloggers or whatever it is they’re called.

Because I might want to join up before they implode.

It’s just that it’s been an unbelievably busy fortnight of CNY obligations. Naomi and I have just only recently been able to put our feet up and relax for a couple of hours.

Regular programming should be back soon. Promise.