What is it actually about? Red packets? Food? Being flocked by relatives most of whom you don’t give a shit about? CNY is bullshit, because it is the same monotonous routine every FUCKING year.
I leave for my relatives’ place in the morning. I arrive promptly at 1, and settle down for a vegetarian meal. Following that, I proceed to offer greetings. For my efforts, I receive paltry sums of money. There is a Mahjong table which beckons me over. I am allured. I sit down on the Ikea folding chair, and stack my tiles into a wall. I start to play. Sometimes I win, and other times I lose. The old-timers are going at a rate of $1 a tai. At the end of 3 hours, I have made a $27 nett gain. The reason I am able to fleece the pockets of the experienced? I cheat, and very surreptitiously so. I hang on to four of the “dragon tiles”, and sneak them into my side of the table whilst drawing my tiles. Opening them results in an instant $6. I am happy. I play clean for a while. A few minutes later, I cheat yet again. I do this for the duration of the 3 hours.
I did that a year ago.
My family goes to the Hongbao River exhibition after that. I jostle through the crowd. I scoff at the Chinks trying to sing along to the CNY tunes that are blasted from the loudspeakers. Soon, I am bored. We then head for dinner. I note that most of the shops are closed. Reminds me of Perth after 4pm.
I did that too, a year ago.
I don’t need the money. I believe that CNY is more than red packets, snacks, drinks, gambling and playing with shredded vegetables topped with the flesh of raw fish. That’s fucking dirty by the way. I don’t need your saliva on my chopsticks. I hate trying to finish up the fucking oranges that are left over from the whole blasphemy of a holiday. I don’t feel a sliver of gaiety when people come over and mess up my house, leaving me to pick up the pieces afterwards. I detest having to mop the floor in order to get rid of that sticky feel that the outsiders have left behind. Occasionally, there is the spilled puddle of beverage. Any remnant of debonairness I might still cling on to would be ripped to pieces at this point. You don’t just fucking come over and make a fucking mess out of my residence.
14 more days of this fucking mockery of a holiday, and we’re done. I am eagerly anticipating the start of a new school term. Hopefully, I will not be donning green. Hopefully, I will not have the SAJC experience, or even the CJC one. Hopefully, I will not be mugging and still be trapped in mediocrity.
Wait, there is no hope to be found in 2009. Good game to all.