Tag Archives: chinese new year

reunion

12 Feb

London
Sunday 10.2.13
I had thought to post some pics of the Chinese new year celebrations in London round Trafalgar square and Chinatown. But it rained practically throughout the time allotted for it, a small drizzling rain.

I don’t mind the rain, as I was able to use my rain coat, but it cannot be very nice for those who want to celebrate it outdoors. And it cannot be much fun for those providing the entertainment or food stalls or souvenir stalls. And the day was too dull to make happy pictures. Haha.

But London is such a large city and have so many people I am sure even if a small number of those people who came there are young enough to enjoy the day and bring their boisterous nature to it, it will be enough to lighten the spirit for everyone else.

So if my friend and I don’t stay long, (my friend suggested we move on to the south bank); it does not mean the day was a washout.

We are too old to hang around. One of the things about being old, or older is that u really come to realise that new year celebrations are really for the young. They get to receive ang pows, and new clothes, and lots of food to eat… and they will be indulged in, with parents who are normally very strict the rest of the year, relaxing and giving tacit permission to play the fool a bit.
Not that my parents were strict, but I know my parents are unusual in this respect. A lot of my Chinese friends have very controlling parents.

 

I met up with a German friend of long ago who moved to panama to live with his Mexican boyfriend, and works for a hotel chain, and travels half the year abroad a lot for his work. He seldom come to uk, but this time he did and so we met after many years.

It is actually rather a sad and nostalgic meet. Because both of us have grown old… and all our friends have gone. Not gone away from London, but we lost touch with them even though they are living in London. So that there was only two of us to meet. We remember the younger us and those days of frolic in London, unlike now when we all have our separate lives and cannot even muster a big reunion of all our old friends.

Reunions are not always a happy affair, and can be more of a chore. I know we Chinese always rapsodise the family get together reunion at Chinese new year, but I know it can be rather a bore . Like taking a holiday to the same place every year. And with added horribleness in having to socialise with those in the family if you cannot get along with them in the first place.

I get along well with my brothers and sister, but I am glad I don’t have to go back to Malaysia for a reunion.

That is the reality of life. We grow old. Friends come and go. And we change too, and as we go older, our outlook does tend to concentrate too much on musings on health a lot more than when we were young.

I don’t recall we talked of our health that much when we were young.

And the interesting thing I noticed with our conversation, is that instead of curiosity to hear what the other’s sexual adventures are , we tend to talk of our own adventures and for me anyway, comparing theirs with mine and realising that I don’t really fancy their adventures.

So different from when we were younger, when we have not done things and are not experienced in sex. And when we hear of some unusual sexual practices we are just agog to hear more, even though secretly thinking how awful, I don’t like that.

Not realising that many years later , we will be doing it, liking it and doing it a lot now.

My friend says he goes to saunas a lot during his trips abroad on business . He works for a hotel chain which have many branches worldwide.

And I remember thinking when he said it that I don’t like to go to saunas anymore. Haha. At least not in London. I daresay if I were to be on holiday in Europe, or s.e.asia. I will go because most of the gay action is in those places. And it is a way to meet other gay guys for sex without a lot of complications or danger.

Everyone who likes saunas always say they like how clean they can be and how everyone else is clean too. My friend is no exception. He too praised the cleanliness.

So much emphasis on cleanliness… I guess they have not yet experienced the joy and sexual excitement of guys’ natural scent.

Some guys give off really exciting natural body scents.

It was too rainy to hang around outdoors or to watch the Chinese new year shows… and he was not that interested in them anyway, seeing most of the time u are looking over people’s heads, which is bad enough but this time there are the umbrellas to contend with as well.

So we walked across the river and after going into the festival hall and a number of others places to find a place to sit so we could chat, and finding them so crowded with people there was no room to sit, we finally settled on benches outside the film institute. I think not many sit there because the coffee is very expensive. Or maybe it was a cold day for them. The staff very kindly turned up the open flame heaters without us asking.

It was nice to catch up with him. And to have a glimpse of another life lived differently from mine. He told of his dreams to retire. Though interestingly enough his idea of retirement is to find another job , and set up a B&B in panama!!

I think he was just musing and testing out the possiblities, as he said he wants to buy a place elsewhere, in florida he said for the weather, and move between panama and that place. And of course that is not compatible with running a bed and breakfast in panama. Haha.

There are hurricanes in florida, and the summers are very hot. But I did not remind him of it. After all, we all like to dream and why not!

In fact, even now in panama, he tells me they have bought a place in the mountains near the panama city where they live, just so they can go there over the weekend, to escape the heat. So even though he likes the hot weather, I can see it can be too much sometimes, if not all the time.haha.

I know how it is like. I am from Malaysia, and the weather he said is rather similar in panama. Hot all the time, and either wet during the winter, or dry during the summer months. In Malaysia it is the other way round.

Makes u wonder why they live there when they cannot stand the tropical heat. It seems temperatures in panama is like Singapore. my friend’s reason may be to be with his boyfriend, so that might explain why he lives in panama now. And also explains why he likes going to the highlands. it is very similar to the british when they governed in malaysia, going up to cameron highlands or fraser’s hill , near kuala lumpur to escape the lowland heat. They do it in india too. 

People I find are very contradictory. And they say these contradictory things in the same breath and don’t seem to be aware of it. Haha. I don’t mind, I am very indulgent when I hear guys talking to me about their visions of their future and what they would like their life to be .

I made the observation that in terms of ideal climate, London is the best. Neither too extreme in heat or cold and so pleasant to live in all year round. I know not many will agree with me. Haha. But to those of us who have travelled the world and seen it all, I can assure u London weather is the ideal.

I like the rain. Because it is a nice contrast to dry days. I would be bored if the weather is sunny and dry all year round. It is too much the same. And today’s rain is rather pleasant, a small drizzle with not much wind.

But ‘say that to the marines‘, I hear your collective shout from you all who are currently living under these rain darkened clouds. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

snake year

10 Feb

London
It is 7.04am Sunday 10.2.13. it is Chinese new year. Or at least in London it is. You might already have finished with it if u live in Malaysia, or u might not even have it yet if u live in usa.

I have friends sending me emails with new year greetings showing white burmese pythons to illustrate their card. scary!! 

Not that I celebrate it even though I am Chinese.

I noticed that unlike the western new year, where each year have a date and so we know the time has gone by and we can measure it, the Chinese new year don’t tell u the year, but what animal it is.

So unless u know your Chinese animal calendar very well u cannot tell how old someone is nor can u get an idea of the passing of time.

Maybe it is a good thing, because being constantly reminded that time has moved on can make u aware of growing old.

Anyway, I was at the amoy food van in Gabriel wharf on the south bank of the thames, yesterday, and was eating the very small sample noodles that they were giving out.

A woman standing near me asked me what I thought of it.
I said it could be better. The noodles were too soft. I prefer them firmer, I said. She said like al dente. Yes, I said.

I said it would be better if the noodles are undercooked before they are stir fried. I was thinking they used dried noodles and so can control how long to soak them in water prior to stir frying them. But I found out later that they used ready to cook noodles.

Then she asked me what animal the new year will be, I said snake, she asked me what a snake year will be like, I said , I have no idea. Haha.

She told me she is a monkey. I know she meant she was born under the year of the monkey.

I commented that well, if u don’t want people to know your age, don’t mention what animal you are. Because someone who knows his animal calendar will be able to know your age.

But u are safe with me I said, as I don’t remember the animal sequence at all.

I mentioned that some people may be able to fool even the animal expert If they look 12 yrs younger.

She ask me to guess her age, I guessed late 30’s or early 40’s and was pleasantly surprised when she said she is 56. So here is one Caucasian lady who looked younger than her years.

I have noticed that people are stir frying with instant noodles. And amoy is capitalising on it by selling instant noodles too. I remember them as selling soy sauce and such.
They were giving out a booklet with recipes, and 50p vouchers off their sauce and soya sauce and instant noodles.
(added. I had a look at the vouchers, and realise they are selling ready cooked noodles, not dry noodles. So the soft noodles are a fixture, and u cannot control the softness of it. )

Anyway I think even Malaysia hawkers are using instant noodles. I wonder whether the woman in a noodle stall I used to go to still make her own dough and pass it through a noodle cutting machine operated by hand. She must be a minority now.

Instant noodles are a staple of a student diet. And a young person’s faithful standby for a quick snack. I wonder what those powder in the sachet that comes with it are made of. They are strangely addictive. The secret ingredient could be msg(monosodium gluatamate).

I have found out that u don’t need to use the powder . Just use half a stock cube. Instead. But nowadays u cannot just buy the dry instant noodles without the sachet. Or rather u might be able to but they cost the same as those with the sachet.

Nowadays even the basic ones cost 11p or 12p. They used to be 9p each.
Whilst the more fancy ones can be 40p each or more.

 

 

just a recent 2day post

23 Jan

London

23.1.13 wednesday

I am quite surprised that there are so many bloggers still, I thought everyone have gone to twitter, facebook, or whatever those social networks are called. But wordpress is still very active, and tumblr as well.

I used to be with blogspot, and they don’t have the kind of connection that wordpress (and tumblr too for all I know) seem to make available for its members.

This article in the telegraph today says old people are likely to be cut out of the mainstream if they don’t join a social network. I cannot find the link , so maybe the editors have removed it as they realise that they are wrong to assume that just because u are not on a social network u are cut off from society.

I think if u are not on the internet, or have some access to it, u will be cut off from the mainstream. Being able to get online is far more important than being in a social network. Libraries give free daily 1hr access to anyone who joins the library, and in England at least it is easy to join the library. But for a gay guy, it has its disadvantage , in that it wont allow access to gay websites like gaydar, etc.

That is why I still have a landline, as it allows me to get free broadband. I got talk talk. And it is cheap, landline rental is £9.50 (because I pay a year’s rental in advance) and monthly dues for the package which includes free broadband is £3.50. I get free calls (up to 1hr per call) locally and nationally in the evenings and weekends, and a special concession for me, I get free local calls (02 numbers for London) anytime. I get free international calls too, to certain countries, but I never use them.

I thought in the past that I will close this landline if ever London gives us free broadband throughout the city… but I think even if it does, I have second thoughts about closing my landline, because it is v likely they will restrict access to gay websites. And it is nice to be able to call and chat with friends free.

I am using my blog as some kind of diary. For my own enjoyment. Not many use it like that.

Many use their blogs as a means of instruction, or imparting knowledge. Or as a means of trying out their communicating skills, or publicising their business, or humour or story -telling or poetry to entertain others.

And they all seem to want a lot of viewers and visitors. I wonder why?

22.1.13 tuesday
I was wondering when is Chinese new year this year. And I saw an advert in the online newspaper , the independent, an advert placed by amoy , saying they are cooking at various places in uk over the following weekends until ending in London on the 10feb, which is when Chinese new year starts.

The coming year will be of the snake.
This one is the year of the dragon.

Not that I know what the difference is.

I might go and see them cook, and hopefully sample it, in Trafalgar square on the 10th feb, or at observation point, Gabriel wharf on the 9th feb. the 9th feb one might be less busy.

There will be a big celebration with stage show in Trafalgar sq on the 10th feb. This year the celebration is on the actual Chinese new year day itself as it is on a Sunday.

http://www.standard.co.uk/staticpage/amoy/

It is a chance for the Chinese businesses and restaurants in and around Chinatown in London to make their profit by attracting lots of people to come into central London that weekend.

There will be lion dances.

This year Chinese new year is rather early in february.

Long ago, we used to meet at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown on new year eve for dinner get together. But it is usually a hectic affair, with the restaurant very full and everything was so rushed and expensive too. And the food suffered as a consequence of this.

Now, we don’t do that anymore. At least not me.

You might say how sad to lose touch like that with friends. It is rather sad, but we have lost touch with each other because we have no more common interests anymore. That is the reason why we stop seeing each other.

Rather sad, that , but friends come and go, and sometimes when our interests diverge, there is nothing to say to each other anymore. So we go off and find new friends or find new interests.