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Chinese New Year 2015

March 7, 2015
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I sit here writing this with a confusing mix of happiness and sadness; sad that 2 good weeks of Chinese New Year is now over just like that, but happy at the same time because editing this set of pictures reminded me again of all the incomparable joys of being home with family.

I guess all good things come to an end but they’ll always live on so long as lived the moment to the fullest. Dr Seuss has never been more right at this hour. In his own words, “Do not cry because it is over; smile because it happened.”

So today, I will smile.

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So Chinese New Year — it was such a good and grand two weeks! Going back to Penang and being with family was the highlight, of course, but the food also was a worthy contender.

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It was steamboat almost all day, everyday. The hot pot was never out of sight — when we were done, it was just left to simmer until we were hungry again to go for round 2, 3, 4, more. I’ve never had so much seafood in a single week before, so much so that I broke out in the worst case of hives due to the sudden onslaught of seafood in my system. Totally worth it.

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What’s better than family and food? Eating good food in the company of family, duh.

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Dresscode was, needless to say, floral and red galore. The more floral and red, the better.

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We each let our inner gluttons out throughout that 2 weeks. Exclamations like “calories don’t count when you’re on holiday” and “It’s Chinese New year it would be rude not to eat” helped convince ourselves that it was okay to stuff ourselves until it became labourious to breathe hahaha.

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Ahhhh to be young and have incredible metabolisms again, when you can have ice cream for a meal and not put on a single pound.

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The angpau loot was great this year — nyahahahahaha — because aunts and uncles from far and wide decided Penang was a good place to meet. Everyone should reunite here every year so we don’t miss out on a single one.

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It was also a double celebration because it was PoPo’s birthday! 81 years old and still going strong; I’ve never seen her smile so widely and laugh so loudly at being surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Here she is joking that she might break the knife because she is really strong despite her age so do not underestimate her! My grandma, the joker hahahaha.

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Cake monsters! We picked out the cake and weren’t sure if cuppacino cheesecake would sit well with everyone. Turned out our concerns were uncalled for because everyone loved it — PoPo even scraped the pan and knife clean for the last bit of it. Success!

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After our tummies were filled and our lips were exhausted from too much laughing, it was time for a few rounds of cardgames. Chinese New Year wouldn’t be Chinese New Year if no one pushed their luck a little with a fresh new deck of cards and put on the line some precious angpau money — if you know what I mean hehehe.

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It’s not about winning or losing, neither is it about the money — it was all in good fun to hear shrieks of disbelief fill the house and subsequent loud laughter at a good round. A happy house is one that is never quiet and never empty, right?

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Mummy and Sam Yee agrees and says, “Cheers to that!”.

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I was home for a week — a duration that sounded long enough when I was applying for my leaves — but it felt hardly enough when it came to pack up. The older I get, the more I love these holidays which once felt like such chores when I was a teenager.

Chinese New Year is like a time-travel machine which doors only open up once a year, through which you can go back to the best days of your life. Back to your childhood home where everything was taken care of for you and back to a time when work stress and demanding life pressures did not exist.

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It is like a time-travel machine that brings you back to only the best days of your life when all you had to do was eat as much as you can, collect as many angpaus as you can and spend every waking minute with family. Things don’t get any better than that.

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Of course, my Chinese New Year was made all the more meaningful because I got to share it with the Ninja. Sure he spends it with us almost every year but every year there’s still a new set of lovely and wonderful memories to make.

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One group photo of the clan for the road. Right here are 4 generations of our family yo.

CNY you were gone too fast but you were definitely the best while you were here. Here’s to colourful firecrackers, delicious food and irreplaceable family.

Can’t wait until the red cloth goes up over our front door again next year!

Hope all of yours were just as grand and fulfilling.

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