Here’s to a Great Horsey Year!

When I first started blogging, never did I imagine that there would be people complaining about my lack of blog updates. Not to mention my mum as the primary complainant! So, this post is dedicated to my mum, who can finally use the Chinese New Year (CNY) photo collages in her facebook posts. A classic example of social media pervading all age groups!

So, backtracking to 30 Jan 2014 when it was Chinese New Year’s Eve… Reunion dinner was at Wah Lok, Carlton Hotel.  As expected, when you have a photo-fanatic mummy, the pre-dinner family cam-whoring session was inevitable.  Commendably, even daddy showed great improvement in his “photogenic index” under our tutelage. Don’t you agree? We even took our first family selfie – All 4 of us nicely captured within the frame :)001 collage (1)001 collage (1)

The dinner began with my first (and, unfortunately, only) Lo Hei for 2014!  Enjoyed the generous serving of golden crackers. Huat ar! There were the usual shark fin’s soup and abalone, which I never knew how to appreciate.  I tried to have the shark fin’s soup replaced, but special requests weren’t entertained for the busy night of CNY Eve.  Ah well.  In the end, daddy became the lucky beneficiary of my dietary preferences.  That said, I compensated with extra servings of the yummy glutinous rice thereafter :)001 collage (1)001 collage (1)

With all the calories laden, it was time to brave the crowd at Chinatown!!!IMG_4042001 collage (1)IMG_4055

We jostled with the rest and were squashed at many instances, but I suppose these were part and parcel of “soaking in the authentic CNY atmosphere.”  We were at Chinatown for the CNY Countdown and witnessed the explosive fireworks and firecrackers! :) That said, what amused me the most was how we were a nation of photographers. (Pot calling the kettle black!) See photo below taken at the stroke of midnight.  001 Collage (1)

After Chinatown, it was time for CNY prayers at Waterloo Street.  We reached the temple at around 1am and there was still a massive, but orderly, crowd.  That did not deter mummy and I from queueing. After an hour and lots of tears (from the incense smoke) and a blister on my finger (from the burning incense), we managed to make our first offerings for the horsey year :)IMG_4085

That night, or rather morning, I went to bed at 4.30am.  After a 3-hour rest, it was time for CNY Day 1 festivities!  As always, the morning started with Ongnie and I giving CNY blessings to daddy and mummy :)  We received our red packets and Querido’s red packet was entrusted in my care.001 collage (1)

By the way, the painting below is by Querido’s mummy.  She gave it to mummy when they met in August last year.  It’s a nice addition to the home and goes really well with the existing decor :)001 collage (1)

Thereafter, it was time for CNY house-visiting.  As I had a flight to catch that night, we only managed to cover 3 houses on Day 1.  The highlight was lunch at granny’s – There were around 50 of us (we are one huge extended family!) and it was great to see everyone before I returned to Portugal!001 collage (1)001 Collage (1)

Before leaving for the airport, mummy wanted to have a simple home-cooked family meal together.  In the end, the simple meal turned out to be a “more than simple” hotpot!  Actually, this hotpot was my only home-cooked meal during my 3.5 weeks back in Singapore. Against this backdrop, I suppose I am pardoned for my severely-lacking culinary skills. Haha.

And guess what happened when I arrived in Portugal? Querido came to pick me up at the airport with 2 (normal) oranges! My Asianised angmoh boyfriend never fails to amuse me! Brownie points for effort :)  That was not all – Querido also reserved the best table in my most favourite Chinese restaurant in Portugal for our first horsey year dinner together! What a great welcome back to Portugal and perfect way to combat jetlag!001 Collage (1)

Last but not the least, after my 6-month long visa saga, I finally started work on 立春 (first day of spring based on the east asian solar calendar) which fell on 4 Feb this year.  So, my lazy weekday afternoons have officially come to an end, but I shall still strive to blog every weekend.  After a slithering year of the snake, I really wish that it will be a smooth-galloping year of the horse ahead :)

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