Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Thing About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Years are always my favourite time of the year, not only because of long weekends and food that defy all calorie counts, but also because ironically it celebrates not being married – how else do you get Ang Baos.

This festive season is always filled with so much pseudo positivity that it’s like half the country is on prozac over dose. It’s like going to Haw Par Villa. I never understood what all the hype is about taking a boat ride to see how you will be tortured in hell.

Why is it pseudo positivity you ask? Well it’s because so much well wishes comes out the mouth that I wonder if people actually know and truly mean what they are saying or that it’s just a social routine. It's like touching wood every time you say something ominous.

The only thing better that can come out of their mouths in this period, would be if they pulled a red packet out of it.

That said, I’ll give you the six things that define every Chinese New Year for me, because this is my blog and I don’t give a shit about what defines yours.


1. Well Wishes

This is the one time we are encouraged to say four letter words – Mandarin nonetheless – like ‘all year got fish’ and ‘step step high increase’ and dumber ones when you are my age and people tell you, ‘faster high grow up’. Like, hello? Puberty gave up on me ages ago.

I’d be honest here. I only say the most common ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, of which I don’t even understand the fucking meaning of it because it’s like you are congratulating someone for something that probably hasn’t or will never happen.

It’s just mocking. It’s like celebrating a pre-ejaculation, but worse, because you’d probably never get to enjoy anything at the end.

2. Goodies

I can’t really say I enjoy the snacks because I hate snacks. If I had to choose between starving and a pineapple tart, I would choose hidden third option, which is the razor, to slit my throat.

I also realize people are deaf during this period, or generally they don’t really give a shit about what you are saying.

They : “Try this pineapple tart. Very nice. Best you can find in Singapore.”
Me: “It’s okay. I don’t eat pineapple tarts.”
They : “Come, take one. Very nice. You must try this.”

I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. Do I need to send an email on this? Do I need to pee in the tart box to make myself clear? Maybe I need to yell. Was I laughing when I said it? Maybe I need to emphasize it with sign languages.

3. Gambling

The other thing I do love about CNY, is the blatant gambling. It’s only natural I feel this way, because I am Chinese, and the only thing we love better than gambling, is playing Mahjong and pretending that we are only playing it to pass time. Or maybe going to karaokes, but then again, singing is a Pinoy thing.

I hate Blackjack, because it’s a stupid game that resigns you to fate. You don’t need skill, all you need is luck and the ability to count till 21 – or 16 at least. The best game is Mahjong, because it helps to pass time.

Chinese New Year without gambling is like Michael Phelps without this bodysuits and bong, just ordinary.

4. In-Between

I won’t even call this gambling because it’s the dumbest yet most thrilling communal game since ‘Heart Attack!” and Mad Magazine.

You just open two cards and you call you rbet and hope it falls between both cards. It’s so easy to play, if dolphins had fingers to shuffle cards, they would be playing it. And at the same time, it is so wretchedly cursed with coincidences, you think you are witnessing a David Blaine card trick.

Just last weekend, I saw a pot grew from $30 to over $670 because in 4 hands, 3 of them hit a double from a 2 and Q and A and K. Those were the three times I laughed the hardest all week long. It was so funny, my conscience was laughing along with me.


5. Repetitive Questions

As you get older, your relatives run out of topics to talk to you about, that is why they constantly ask you the same questions every year.

If you went through an entire CNY without someone asking you; “When are you getting married”, then you belong to a very select group of people. There aren’t many of you that are this privileged. You can probably all fit into a Maxi cab.

6. Ang Baos

If Ang Baos had tits, it would be the equivalent of Florence Nightingale, because this is one tangible reward that supersedes all prior and subsequent flaws CNY may possess and saves it from being the shittiest period of the year – which is when we pay taxes.

This is the one time when single people are reassured that they are doing the right thing when they continue to receive red packets, mock at the bleeding bank books of married couples and think of a vasectomy when you see ugly children running around.

It’s like as if the married people are trying to tell us to stay single, so embrace it, enjoy it and cash it in.

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