29 Jan

london 12.45pm 9C sunny wednesday 2020

yesterday night i went to a chinese new year dinner given by a casino, in west london.

there was no notice about it, i only know of it because one of us have parents who are members of it, and so told her and she told us. it seems it is open to all but we did not know that then.

we went last year and it was really a delicious and lavish buffet, and the memory of it still lingered with me, that is why i wanted to go this year. last year they advertised it and asked people to rsvp at eventbrite. it is a website that allows people to say they are coming, so that they can get an idea of how many to cater for.

this year there was none of that. one of us told me she had booked a table for 10, and told me the name she booked it in. so i thought i can use that to gain entrance. usually in casinos they are quite strict about letting anyone in, wanting them to apply for membership etc and proof of age. last year i was not asked for ID. but i decided to bring my passport anyway.

i was there at about 6.45pm, and i saw a (added, young) chinese guy sitting on one of the easy chairs at the foyer, waiting for something, and i thought oh dear are they that strict that they want the host to escort the guests in. then after a bit i saw one of us there at the desk so i decided to join her.

they were asking her to show ID. and i was asked for mine as well. later i overheard the receptionist saying to her that they need to verify her age, because she looked young.

later, i heard more of what happened from the others who arrived after her. it seemed she had a disabled person’s travel card, but it has no date of birth on it. and it seems anyone who looked under 25yrs old must show ID. she was 25yrs old. so she had to go home to get ID.

meanwhile i could not get my passport out of the pocket of my jacket so i gave them my freedom pass instead, and though there was no date of birth there, they all know that a freedom pass is only for people over 60yrs old.

it is strange to ask me for ID because i have long gone past looking like i am under 25yrs old. haha. last year they did not bother to ask me for my ID, but i guess it all depands on who is on the desk, or maybe whether they had a bad day or not, haha.

though the others who came told me they too were asked for ID, so this year they must have been told to implement the policy.

it seems the receptionist told one of us that anyone can come in to join in the free buffet. so lets hope they do it every year for cny.

this year the buffet offerings were not so good as last year. it was limited to plain rice, spring rolls, duck, noodles, and beef. and this year they ask us to keep our bags with reception, unlike last year. but it was still very nice to have a chinese meal . glad they got roast duck. it is not something i eat often. this is because i cant find cheap duck sold in the supermarket. tesco is supposed to have one for £5 and i want to buy it, but i can never find it in their frozen section. it is quite easy to cook one at home. 

there were a lot more chinese people at this buffet than last year. elderly people too, like they are a tourist group. and they have moved the food trays to the gambling floor instead of at the bar like last year. so you get a line of people queueing up for the food right amongst all the gambling tables with roulette wheels. it must be real disruptive for the gamblers. but there was no lion dancers like last year, no room for them actually if they are there. 

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