Happy Chinese New Year

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Wow- quite a drought period for posts it’s been, but I’ve been too busy living life to write about it. I hope all  my little charges have been enjoying themselves with all the visiting, eating, and of course collecting Ang Pows! We live in a country that is predominantly Chinese, so Chinese New Year is pretty much everyone else’s New Year as well. Wednesday evening was the eve of CNY, and Mrs V had her own reunion dinner with her family. My sister and 2 of her 3 sons, and my brother and his wife and daughter came over. My parents are in India right now, or they would have been here as well. My husband’s family lives in India, so coming over for CNY was not, quite understandably, an option! The whole reunion dinner thing was Mr V’s idea, and I was really touched that he had thought of it, given his busy schedule.

It was simply wonderful. Conversation flowed in an atmosphere of conviviality as we used the opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives. My sister is a GP teacher in RJC, and she was telling us about some aspects of her work. Very different from teaching in a secondary school. She likes what she does, and she’s good at it. But I think I have more fun with all of you at Swiss! My twin nephews are in JC now, and we nearly split our sides laughing at the obviously embellished but nonetheless engaging recounts of their experiences. My brother is in the port logistics line, and that is very different from teaching, so it is always good to hear about his work anecdotes. His wife is a lawyer- ditto. And their daughter is a 5 month old bundle of character and attitude, who kept us all on our toes.

lohei-before.jpgA Chinese friend of mine packed all the ingredients for a vegetarian lo-hei and sent them to me, along with instructions about which item to put in when. Next year I would like to find out what each item signifies, and whether there is anything to say while adding each item in. If anyone knows this, please enlighten me! Anyway we did the best we could, and had a great time tossing everything around.

lohei-after.jpgMy son, Rishi, took the idea of tossing very literally and ended up making a huge mess. But it was fun, necessity for cleanup notwithstanding!

zoo.jpgIt was off to the zoo for us the next day, because Rishi had been wanting to go for a really long time and we had never been able to find the time for it. Arjun joined in reluctantly because he had so much homework to do, but he ended up having as much fun as his brother. We just wandered around wherever we felt like, and stopped for a little picnic when we got hungry. We acted like tourists, posing for pictures all over the place and stopping at the ridiculously expensive gift shop. I will put up some of the pictures here when I am done transferring them from my camera to the computer. That’s the point at which I get really lazy!

toysrus.jpgThe highlight of the next day was dinner at Hard Rock cafe. At least for me. For my kids, it was the trip to Toys R Us before that. Forum- where the store is located- was like a ghost town: lonely and spooky. The carpark was empty and the whole building was deserted. Toys R Us was the only store open. Sure, it was nice to not have to jostle with the crowd, queue up for ages at the cashier and circle the carpark for a parking space. But all that paled in comparison to the shiver up the spine that comes from the feeling that you are in some sort of sci fi movie where the world has ended and you’re the only one left alive.

hardrockcafe.jpgSo on to Hard Rock. Again no queue. On a normal Friday night there is no chance of getting in- it’s just too crowded. But this Friday the town was ours! We sailed in and had our choice of tables. I’m not going to bore you with details of what we ate and drank, but suffice it to say that it was all good. The portions were HUGE, though. I’m going to order more carefully the next time I’m there. If I have the starters, I’m going to skip the main course and go straight to dessert.

rockband.jpgAt 10.30 the live band, Energy, started their first set. They were very good. My experience with local bands has not been very positive. I usually cringe because they tend to be out of tune and overly concerned with how they look. But Energy was different. These were guys who were enjoying their music so much that they made sure they got it right. Every note was in tune and they all had really good voices. Their diction could have been clearer- I could only make out the words becasue I knew the songs- but it was a great session overall. I wish I could have stayed longer but the kids were falling asleep over their empty ice cream bowls so we had to leave.

party.jpgSaturday was visiting day. Lots of friends to meet and catch up with. Lots of food to eat. Lots of alka seltzer to take in the evening! Today is Sunday, and I am getting good at ignoring the marking I brought home to do over the weekend. After all I’ve been practising for 4 days! If you don’t get your assignments back soon, you’ll know the reason why!

firecrackers.jpgHappy New Year, my friends! See you in school tomorrow!

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