Tuesday, January 27, 2009

恭喜发财, 牛年快乐

Another year of not being with the folks and family for the Lunar New Year. And another year pining for crumbly pineapple tarts, melt-in-your-mouth kueh bangkit, and sweet-salty bak kwa. We've become used to spending mellow new years here, but it doesn't mean we miss home any less. Like any other huge holiday, Chinese New Year is a big deal for my family- apart from my parents and sisters (and now brother-in-law!), it's also about my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and army of cousins, nieces, & nephews; it's about just being with them and basking in the warm glow of family.

We ushered in the Year of the Ox quietly- there was a Chinese dinner at Middle Kingdom on Saturday with Lian, Kabi and Rick, and where our server recommended a gigantic steamed whole walleye for auspicious reasons ("fish" sounds like "prosperity" in Mandarin). Despite there being only five of us, we gamely ordered it anyway and practically cleaned the entire dish on top of everything else we ordered :) "Reunion" dinner last night was at Macaroni Grill, most decidedly un-Chinese and deliberately so. We figured all the Chinese places would be crowded so pasta it was. Besides, we could just about pretend we were having traditional Chinese New Year noodles for good luck (even though I ordered bow-tie pasta which look nothing like long, thin noodles...) And today, on the first day of the new year, instead of a day-long affair of jumping in and out of the car visiting relatives, stuffing our faces silly with new year goodies, and playing cards with the cousin, I'm bound to my desk, triple-backing-up data, transcribing, and trying my hand at website design.

All in all though, we are hopeful for the Year of the Ox- it's my dad's zodiac sign, and if nothing else, that suggests good things to come :) Here's wishing all of you who celebrate the Lunar New Year many bovine blessings for the year, whether that be wealth, health or just all-round good cheer!

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