Friday, February 08, 2008

Lunar New Year - lamentations

Chinese new year (cny for short) is exhausting. All that fake plastered smiles and relatives during the visitings make me wanna crawl into bed. Did you guys notice that cny is mostly about the money? All the songs, gadgets, lengths upon lengths of decoration, red packets all towards that one idea of luck and prosperity. Its not that I'm not for the idea, but c'mon, its crazy times like these, making people work 12-16 hour days in a box that makes me feel like we're living for money. Of the money, by the money, for the money. Someone during a visit told me, without money, we're nothing. Is that really true? They lament that they even pay for the air they breathe, ie, AC. They become obsessively calculative, to avoid a parking of $3, they park 3 blocks away, only to walk the 3 blocks to their destination in the sun. They wait for the time limits of street tolls to be over before proceeding. They refuse to lend people rides, because of petrol prices. Yes, prices are soaring, yes, the weather is ridiculous hot (32 degC) but do we have to take it out on ourselves and the people around us? What happened to love thy neighbor? I can't help but wonder if we've become fruits of capitalism, where we see each other not as people, but as potential for trade, ie, if someone is not of value to us, why keep him/her around? That is plain sad.

Back to the cny thing, besides all that annoying cny music everywhere, which does something funny to my head and DH's too apparently, there's all that crazy "preparation" for food shopping, for bright new clothes, new shoes, accessories and whathaveyous. Black is a taboo, so is unauspicious words like death or dying-related, of course anything to do with poorness or losing money. On the 1st day, I just decided on a plain black tank from bonds which might I add, have already worn countless times, dark red PJ pants which I made myself, a old white bangle I pulled from somewhere, Marsha's cute woody necklace, gold thongs (shoes!), and the red duct tape satchel I made and I was out the door while the relatives carried vuitton and gucci. In order not to offend the superstitious, I had red on me as an excuse for the black I can't help wearing. No black means giving myself up utterly. So its on to the bazillion "Happy New Year!" and fake smiles plastered on me and DH for the rest of 2 days. I wore the same thing on the second day no less while I noticed the fashion of cny is 2 days of really weird clothings I see all around. Yeah, some of them seem fantastic, but mostly it was pretty obvious that they're all wearing something just for the occasion and will not wear again (eg, red t-shirts on national day). Relatives' homes were shy of AC so we were hot and heavy all day, listening to the ramblings of current political states, what the govt has or have not done for us, how crummy everything is and how good and fun the past was. Yeah, our lives are crummy, our govt is crap and things in the past is always good. Obviously the past is good because we choose to remember the good things! Why don't we all try to see the good things right now so that we can be happier? National depression rates is on the rise, people are going nutters and we're neglecting our family, taking them for granted and not spending enough time with them! I live and breathed all that, working 16 hours in a box with nothing but a computer screen & towering papers all around, coming home only to yell at my family for silly things. Yes, I had the money, but no time and no life to spend it. I took time today to thank DH for suffering the day's ordeal with me when he could've lazed at home. Poor him was dead tired and could hardly do a jog with me.

Eventually, I'm not entirely sure if the collection from the red packets were worth all the trouble. I like seeing my relatives & spending time with them. If only they could be a little more positive about life, to see more of the good side and be less calculative & a little more generous with their hearts. Spend a little more time with people you love. The most expensive gift you can give to them is your time. It is important coz in the end, they are the people who are going to help you when you fall. They are the ones who will lend a shoulder when you're tired or sad. Just don't see them as commodities, ever.

phew, just my 2 cents. Need to crash now.


marsha said...

you know what? i can relate to how you felt ... but i suppose after being away from my loved ones for 9 years and not having celebrated cny with them ... it was special to me. and one thing about me is that i visit those who i'm close to ... not a twice removed cousin's uncle whom i haven't and do not see in yonks. lol ... i guess it does make a difference and makes this whole "dong dong dong - chaaaang!!!!" thingy more bearable. :) thanks so much for linking me up're a star!

florspace said...

LOL Thanks SO much for reading this! Its mostly lethargic lamentations. Well, I have been back for about 3 years now. I like my immediate relatives though they get strangely "rowdy" with comments during cny. Tsk. :+)

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