So it’s Chinese New Year right…?
Sssssoooo…. itssss the year of the ssssssnake issssn’t it? Yes, yes, I’ve heard all the snake jokes already lah – eat snake, sleep with the snake, be careful of where to put your snake… but, but, but… i think the biggest joke this year must have been this:
What the fuck is this? A snake? An earthworm? A malnutritioned giraffe? It’s hideous! Were they short of colours, material or something? Was it made in China? Doesn’t mean that if it’s long and has a head then it’s a snake you know? What happened to the killer, fierce looking snake that is so appropriate of the horoscope? Why not go for realism and do a black adder, a cobra, the deadly coral, the venomous-back-staber-colleague? This chap is not even cute! It’s Voldermort meets Animal Planet meets Teletubbies!
Speaking of worms…here’s an idea: why don’t we invent a “Year of the Earthworm”? I mean, I heard in Vietnam they have a ‘Year of the Cat’. We’ve fabricated an entire legend about a lion-fish crossbreed, so push it a little more lah – have a ‘Year of the Earthworm’! It’ll be economical too, just paint all our snake motifs a bright pink, remove the forked tongue, voila!
“Yes ladies and gentlemen, in Singapore we celebrate the year of the earthworm – a very auspicious creature as it celebrates the significance of creative landuse, burrowing tunnels in the ground and making choice homes 6 feet under. Oh yes, the earthworm, it eats soil and shits fertiliser – a symbol of resourcefulness, the ability to make gold out of dirt. It is at once both male and female (bet you didn’t know that!) – something many great Singaporean transvestite comedians aspire to be.”
(If you see an earthworm like this, it has evolved considerably)
Yes, yes…Chinese New Year. What have we got: food, visits, ang baos – oh yeah, we all had a good scare this year didn’t we? Some wise-ass thought he’d be helpful and tell us how fat we’re getting:
- 5 pineapple tarts = a bowl of rice.
- A slice of bak kwa = a bowl of rice.
- 6 love letters = a bowl of rice.
What is this, Forex?!
And why rice? Why not something graceful, and innocent… like the value of pineapple tarts in salads…or bananas… or sesame seeds. Or dust. That way we can all feel good about ourselves. “Ahh, I just ate the equivalent of 20 bananas – that should be all right!”
Talking about calories – i know what the lot of you are thinking: yes, yes, i’m going to indulge and feast like a dinosaur..i’ll just make up for it after the New Year lah!
Yah yah… as if that’s going to happen – come this wednesday, you’ll all be busy getting back to work, and after work you’ll be too tired to do anything. And then when Saturday comes you’ll need to treat yourself to a big meal to reward yourself for making it through the last few days of the work week. It’s a vicious cycle. Gym memberships? Forget it – we all have visions of us sticking to a regimented schedule, ears brimming with discipline and blast off a good hour heaving weights and clocking up kilometres on the treadmill. Ha! Come on – touch your belly and tell me honestly if this has ever happened before?
But you know what? I actually find Chinese New Year rather boring. It’s true. I admit. It’s the season to pick up ang baos and spend it all gambling. Chinese New Year is the defacto season for turning your house into a gambling den. The levy is the ang bao you have to give to your friend’s children. Problem is…i don’t like gambling! I don’t like mahjong. I don’t like blackjack. I spent my teenage years wondering what the hell a “Chor Dai Di” is. No, no, It’s not that I’m some self-righteous gamblers-go-to-hell prick, i just don’t like the bloody game!
Blackjack for example. “oh wow, 14…let’s pick up another card. Hmm 18, shall I risk it? Oh crap. 24”. And then away goes your money. Round two: “Oh look 21! I win!” And your money comes back. How is this fun? How is this exciting? It’s boring! You just wait your turn to either win or lose. Some tell me it’s “thrilling” – but I can’t see it that way, it’s just not how i was wired. It’s unnecessary risk and it doesn’t make a difference if i’m waging a dollar or my cat’s life, it’s just not fun!
So while friends gamble, I end up sitting in front of the television piling on pineapple tarts (saves me from eating rice later) while cheesy programs turn up on Channel 8. Images of celebrations in China beams through the screen – singing platoons, a performance entourage large enough to put the cast of L’Miserables to shame. You know what i’m talking about right? This was a program that was not short of mobilising an entire Chinese province who’s mission is to chorus you to a bloody pulp. I suspect that even the audience must have been fabricated – eh, you tell me lah, WHO can smile that consistantly throughout an hour long segment! Not unless you kena the big toto prize or something.
Ah well, that’s the Chinese New Year for you.. what is it this year now? The year of the monsoon snake? Isn’t CNY supposed to be the Spring festival? Sunshine, flowers and babbling babies? Unless you’ve been travelling around in denial, you would have noticed the copious amounts of rain and wind. Splish, splash, people getting soaked waiting for taxis that will never come. I like it actually, I really do – grey skies, cold weather. Yup, I’ve been living on the equator so long I actually like it old, grey and gloomy. I’ve got so much sunshine i’m bitching about it everyday, so for a few short weeks each year, I enjoy not having to melt like an ice-kacang.
Anyway, I’ve just been invited to, not one, but two gambling sessions. I’ll go, but as usual, i’m going to just make a beeline for the snacks, the sofa …and if there’s no one interesting enough to talk to, i’ll be numbing my brains to the tune of 50 million Chinese dancers on tele.