It’s almost a year since my last blog post. We did not celebrate CNY last year. This year is different.
Today is the 15th day of Lunar New Year. It is also the last day in the New Rabbit Year 2023. After today’s final celebrations, Chinese New Year finally come to an end. Everything goes back to normal. It seems so fast that 15 days already passed with just a wink of the eye. Fortunately, I was able to rest for few days before CNY. I returned to work on the 5th day of CNY. My company gave me a fat bonus with a token red pack. My brother James flew in from Vancouver on CNY eve. He’s here with us for a month before returning back.
There was much feasting during this CNY period. We had a re-union lunch on CNY eve in a restaurant. It was booked well advanced by my brother Nigel.
When my son George managed to turn up half way thru the lunch, it was the highlight of the day. He brought me a hamper with red packets for myself and my mother. There was $288 inside the red packet for me. When he handed over the red packet to me, my 2 brothers were looking and I guessed that my 2 brothers were wondering in their minds – when will their children ever give them hamper and red packet? At that moment, I felt so proud of George. I still recall CNY 2 years ago, he gave me $188 red packet when I visited his food stall. I was so touched and it made my day cuz it was the first time that I received a red packet from my son. All those years, I’ve been giving him red packet every year until 2 years ago. Alas, he’s grown up and making a decent living in the F&B business.
After the re-union lunch, I followed him in his small van and we talked a lot. Oh yes, it was during the re-union lunch that I decided to fly over to my brother James’ place in Vancouver to spend 2 weeks there. If George did not want to go, I would not have agreed to the trip on 17 April 23. George’s 3 F&B outlets were closed for 4 days from the eve to the 3rd day. But he drove me to his Upper Serangoon Joji’s Diner “for a cup of cappuccino” in his own words.
When I commented that I missed my Papa even though he was a difficult person to get along as he had his own weird idiosyncrasies! George pacified me by saying that often we didn’t realise how we miss someone until that person is no longer around. When I heard the remark a long silence ensued between us…..!
Whilst he was busy setting up the coffee machine, we chatted away merrily. He’s telling me about the F&B industry which I really had no inkling at all. I asked a few questions here and there when he was battering away about the economics of the food industry. I was impressed by his immense knowledge not only on food business but on other topics as well. He’s only 24 years old and yet so much ahead of me.
At that moment, it suddenly dawned on me that I’m now an old man in my 60s and my “little old man” George has grown up too fast and too quick. He’s now independently stable in terms of mind and spirit. He has got his bearing right and doing so well; much beyond my expectations when I was dead worried that what he’s to be as he didn’t do well in school. I was proven wrong.
When it’s time to go back, he insisted on sending me home. He drove me back. Imagine being driven around by my own son is the greatest pleasure I ever experienced. I recall that I used to drive him around even all the way to Genting Highlands often in my Off Peak car when he was a little child. Those were priceless moments etched within my memory.
Over the last few days during CNY, many frens and relatives visited us. We catch-up with the latest happenings and developments. One particular close family fren came to visit us and we couldn’t recognise her. She was ravaged by a curse illness until everything about her is altered beyond recognition. We were sadden to learn of her ill health. We pray and wish her speedy recovery.
On the 8th day of CNY (Sun), we had our usual CNY gathering at George’s western food stall at Simon Road. That was the 3rd consecutive year where we had our yearly CNY gathering. It was like a pot luck gathering where each of us brought some food and beer. AT bought 3 cartons of Carlsberg and some food with our contributions. There were other food brought by others as well. Indeed, it was such an enjoyable evening with plenty of food and beer. That was how we celebrated CNY with close frens on that day.
On this evening ie the 15th day of CNY, we had another re-union dinner at home. My mother went marketing early in the morning and cooked some delicious dishes and we feasted at home. That officially brought to the close of CNY. We will have to work hard and overcome all the challenges in the year ahead before we will earn another CNY celebration. Hopefully, this Rabbit year is kind to us with the much hated Covid scourge behind us.
I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous Rabbit Year 2023. Most importantly, our Singapore shall remain strong and stable in the years to come. May all of you have good health throughout the Rabbit year.