CNY in Kuching

In case you’re wondering, yes, I was MIA for the past 2 weeks. Chinese New Year isn’t a big deal for me now that I’m past the age of receiving ang pows. Lydia summed it up perfectly – it’s a lunarcy – all this mad rush for CNY and getting things ready, shopping till our purses pop and spring cleaning like there was no tomorrow.
On top of that, I was in Kuching, my in laws’ place where I didn’t have broadband though I had my laptop. It sounds like whining but I could not manage to surf properly via dial-up. With the festivities and lazing around, it seemed that I was taking a break from blogging too.
It still feels like a holiday today, since most Hokkiens celebrate the Jade Emperor’s birthday which falls on the 9th day of the CNY. It is a big deal for Hokkiens here as another frenzied round of buying and cooking starts. Most businesses do take a break and most Chinese schools are still on a break, until tomorrow when everything goes back to normal.
Like Marsha, I get annoyed immensely when holidays stretch too long. It’s worse for people who work for themselves as we work through holidays, weekends and more if we could. Other people might think we’re nuts but nothing, absolutely nothing motivates one more than one’s own business.
Although CNY isn’t officially over until Chap Goh Meh (the 15th day), I am glad I get back into action soon. Too much of lazing about, visiting relatives and what-not tend to tire me out. How many different types of cakes and cookies can you munch? How much of Cola or wine or beer can you drink? How much of feasting can you take before a meal of seafood turns you off? Not another round of tossing yee sang…. oh god.
In the last couple of days that I’ve been back, I’ve been stuffing my face. And it’s not that I did not stuff my face when I was in Kuching. Kuching’s snacks and cookies are different – they like to serve Indonesian kek lapis (my favourite!) and prawn crackers with vegetable pickle or acar. They serve a lot of Justea too (good news for Yeo Hiap Seng!). What I call kuih kapit in Penang is called kuih sepit in Kuching and usually are made by Malays (here, Chinese make them and turn producing kuih kapit into a lucrative business).
Fireworks are also loud and clear in Kuching and they’re not just cheap ones either. They’re the commercial grade type of fireworks which come with their own firework launcher! Kuchingites take their fireworks very seriously and they don’t quite give a damn about it being illegal and such (you should see the parabolic dishes in the gardens and roof-tops of rich folks in Kuching. These dishes, which can receive up to 200 international channels, make Astro’s programming quite laughable!). One relative I met was telling how cheap and easy it is to get the dish installed!
Cooknengr told me once that Kuching is like a cowboy town, if they don’t like your face, they’ll send someone over to bash it up so it’s basically lawless as hell. So no wonder parabolic dishes and fireworks can be obtained so easily!
Unlike Kuching, Penangites are law-abiding citizens. Hardly any fireworks are seen. In Kuching, so much of fireworks are let off that the whole place looks like it is covered in smog. Everyone wants to out-do each other.
But one thing remains the same: the weather! Kuchingites who fear another round of flooding can basically sigh with relief. This year, the weather was as scorching as Penang. So much for flooding!

7 thoughts on “CNY in Kuching”

  1. At the very least, you have free fireworks show. I was spending CNY at my parents’ place and due to the sudden surge of ‘prodigal’ children returning home, we have to spend CNY playing cards in candlelight and sweating profusedly away with fans on one hand and cards on the other. And all these happening for the whole 3 days we were there. To think of it, that area is under the jurisdiction of a certain politician who now has to contend with structurally-weak MRII. Phew!

  2. Haha, yes, I did get to watch lots of “ceng choi” fireworks. Apart from that, nothing much. Well, show your displeasure with that toupee-wearer by not voting for him in the next election!

  3. hey mate, kong hey fatt choi..got my card? heheehehe…
    woi, dont pretend pretend….where is the angpow? emmm. 5 years since u married right? u boss right? RM50x5 Rm250.

  4. Maya, glad to have you back. My neighbours were having a blast too with fireworks on CNY eve and the 9th day of Pai Thnee Kong. Looks like Klang has its share of non law-abiding citizens too. Maybe they’re from Kuching?

  5. Hi Lydia: Yes, I am glad that CNY is over. It always amazes me that Nov till Feb is always a madhouse of celebrations, rushing here, doing this, doing that. Now there will be some respite until the next feverish festivity season starts!
    Hi Keat: Hello? Angpows? Urmm… isn’t someone past that age of getting angpows? Anyway it is time YOU got into the marital action and give some away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Keat reminded me about something. Since he is past the age of receiving ang-pow, Maya owes Joshua and Jared (erm, my kids) an ang-pow each!!! Tee hee!!! No problem, you can IOU me for the past years. we’ll add it to next year’s bill. ๐Ÿ™‚ By the way, I take credit cards.

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