Chinese New Year 2013, best one yet!

It was a good, loooooong Chinese New Year break. Guess I was more mentally burned-out than thought! I spent most of it in Batu Pahat, did nothing much but shut down, chill and refocus.

Well that’s the grown-up stuff. Let’s go back to the simple joy of posting photos and commenting on them.

Like most festivals, the Lunar New Year celebrations focuses on strengthening family ties. One of the most important traditions is the tuan nian fan, translated as reunion meal. This year we had our favourite braised cabbage dish, steamed pomfret and pig’s stomach soup. She bought two dishes from a restaurant but I prefer the homecooked stuff ;)

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - reunion dinner
Served with warm white rice, mmmm

I spent a lot of time with the kid; rather inevitable as we had her this CNY. Many hours went into annoying the s- out of her, making her imitate silly actions and edging her to do sillier stunts. It was fun to get her reaction, I suppose. She wasn’t very pleased but I take comfort in that she’ll not remember any of this when she grows up.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - the kid
Look ma, I’m almost camwhoring!

First day of CNY is always at my grandparents’ for lunch and to receive the odd angpau. This year I only had one of those ‘get married, don’t have to give you angpau‘ remarks. Being older, it doesn’t bother me; bring it on even if it really makes you happy!

Having said that, I’m happy that my family on both sides are really cool about these sort of things. Some gave, some didn’t. I’m good with both – after all if you wanted to give me angpau, I’d be extremely stupid not to accept, right?? Heh…

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - with grandparents
My grandparents!

Oh look, I have permed hair again. You know why? So I don’t have to comb my hair for 1.5 years, yay!

Not sure why but my grandparents always cater for nasi beriani with ayam masak merah or rendang for our CNY lunch. It’s becoming our tradition.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - first day lunch

On the 2nd day of CNY, we always eat with my Dad’s side of the family. This year was our family’s turn to host, and we had:

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - feast
Spot the pig

Batu Pahat has changed quite a fair bit. I don’t go back much and everytime I do, there’s something different at every corner. Back in my days, young people would leave for KL, JB or Singapore to study, work and eventually stay there. From what I see, a lot more younger folks are staying in Batu Pahat, making their mark.

Like this one in Taman Bukit Pasir, I think it’s friggin’ awesome!

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - spotted Facebook's new venture
Say what you will about creativity…

We went to Kluang for my Dad’s annual CNY get-together with his friends. This year it was subdued as a family friend was not feeling all that super. Still there was food, drinks, talk, laughter and the best homemade yee sang.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - lou yee sang
Toss toss toss for health and prosperity!

We had dim sum with grandparents before my sister left for KL. Batu Pahat’s dim sum isn’t all that great but a nice change from our usual lontong, nasi lemak, economy noodles etc.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - breakfast with grandparents

After reading that Huai Bin’s grandmother’s house was robbed, I took my grandma to the bank to deposit her CNY gains. Even spooked her a bit to be more aware of her surroundings, crime is everywhere!

Then we went to the Kuan Yin temple as she’s the praying type.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - lanterns at temple
Lanterns at the temple

Sometimes I wonder if people really pray when they seem to be praying, or do it for the sake of doing it. I wonder what they’re thinking. What are they wishing for?

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - praying kid

If you believe in some Chinese astrology, your year of birth might say that you are fan Tai Sui – literally translated as ‘offending the Grand Duke of Jupiter’ for this year of the Snake. If you’re one of the unlucky sods to fan Tai Sui this year, the stars and universe says that you should expect a rough year ahead.

Now, I don’t believe in it (odd, seeing where I used to work) but a lot of people do. So they do all sorts of things to try appease the Tai Sui, which to me is funny because Jupiter is a planet.

But they do it all in the name of wanting to protect their loved ones, and we should be grateful for keepers of tradition.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - keepers of tradition
Donating to appease the Tai Sui

I didn’t see a lot of friends this time round, only Melissa and friends from YBF. We visited Bhante Sumana as we do every CNY and this year, finally had a group photo taken.

Still the funniest, wittiest, sharpest, most logical, down-to-earth monk I know.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - with Bhante Sumana

It seemed that on my long CNY break, everyone else was on break as well. I didn’t manage to eat some of my favourite Batu Pahat food, no one wanted to work!

The night before I came back to KL, we had dinner at the Batu Pahat riverside hawker centre. I’ve been eating there since I was a kid, it’s my must-go whenever I return to BP.

I love the big main road, Jalan Rahmat that leads to the riverside. The hill in the background, the old shophouses and dusk make it so picturesque.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - Jalan Rahmat in Batu Pahat

We are Fuzhou lang so we eat Fuzhou noodles! If you don’t know what it is, basically it’s like Hokkien noodles plus a touch of vinegar. At least that’s how it’s done in Batu Pahat, not sure about other Fuzhou populated areas in Malaysia. I think this guy make his own noodles, it has a tad more bite than the usual fat yellow noodles for Hokkien mee.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - Batu Pahat Fuzhou noodles
Batu Pahat Fuzhou noodles

Not forgetting one of my favourite Batu Pahat to-eat, grilled stingray! The way we have it here is to grill it and drown the fish with ‘cili boh’ (chilli paste). If you know where I can get this type of grilled stingray in KL, please let me know!

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - Batu Pahat grilled stingray
Mmm stingray is so good!

I also got to eat some lontong before I came back. This was at our favourite in Taman Maju (I think). We stopped going to the one at the roundabout near TIGS because it was too chaotic and inconsistent, even though it was touted the best in town.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - lontong
Lontong in Taman Maju

While having breakfast at Sri Gading with my grandparents, I spent about 2 minutes wondering why the rust on roofs have different patterns…

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - rusty roofs in Sri Gading
So, why?

A couple doors from my aunt’s sundry shop is this old-style barber. At first I was fascinated by the DIY A4 self-written sign, so I took this photo. I wanted to take another one but the barber turned around and saw me.

So I scurried back to the car.

Suanie's Chinese New Year 2013 - old style barber in Sri Gading

That was my CNY in Batu Pahat in a blog post. Almost wished I didn’t have to come back, but remembered the two bottles of pinot gris in my fridge waiting for my return, heh. I hope you have had a most enjoyable holiday too!

Comments

  1. This is home truly, where I know I must be
    Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows
    This is home surely, as my senses tell me
    This is where I won’t be alone
    For this is where I know it’s home.

  2. You don’t know that she won’t remember….she’s a tricky one she is. How come not as long post as previously? write a second one can ah

  3. you visited my hometown! hehehe

    CNY with the family is always fun and good. I spent mine in KL since everyone’s in KL!
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