Monday, January 29, 2007

Chinese New Year is really expensive...

I reiterate again..Chinese New Year is really expensive.. I don't get all the hoo-ha but CJ says its tradition and if the elders are happy.. and there is only so much we need to do to make them happy.. then so be it...

To start off, where I can see the dollar notes start growing wings are clothes... normally.. everyone will be out getting a new set of everything from inner 'secrets' to new outfits, new shoes, makeup and hairstyle..

For me, my mom in law already bought me a top so I'm just getting a pair of jeans or two.. at least I can use those for work! $50-100? I'll be going to get my messy mop of what you call hair off my head tomorrow too.. so there goes ... another... $40 bucks...

Who cares about inner secrets.. no one is going to see it.. unless CJ decides that he wants to splurge on some new lingerie.. hehe I won't mind.

Anyway.. then goes the girls.. they have clothes that they have gotten over their birthday last year.. so they'll wear that.. and CJ? well... I'll be getting him another pair of jeans to go with some unopened pack of collared shirt that had taken residence in his cupboard. Another $50.

Then there are the snacks.. Bee Cheng Hiang Bak Kwa... $36 for 1kg of sweet meat... *slurp* ok.. so this is money well spent. I think we'll be going for more bc the pack we bought on Saturday is almost half gone! hehehehe! *yummy* (image below taken from

Ok.. then there are the preserved fruits, the watermelon seeds, the assorted nuts, the deep fried prawn rolls, the various cookies, mountains of mandarin oranges, pomelos and the packet drinks!!! *alamak! I forgot to buy drinks...*

We'll be making our own home made pineapple tarts this week and even some "kuay bangkit" cookies.. I may blog about it and you can judge for yourself if they came out nice or looking like crap. They're both not easy to do and it is only lucky that both me and my MIL have a good affinity towards eachother in the kitchen.. we bake to destress and we bake together and love it.

Those are just the beginning.. I start to choke when my MIL starts on the ordering of the actual CNY food.. $60 for frozen scallops alone .. and possibly about $200 for the rest of the following food items... like sharks fin... prawns... meat... fish... fishballs... meat balls... ngoh hiang... squid... abalone!! Aiyoh!! *faint*... not forgetting the many many veggies.. dried scallops for the soup base for our steamboat.. WHYYY!! wHHHHYY!!! So expensive... *gulp* (trying to imagine if I can survive on fried onions for the next month)

And not forgetting my all favourite.. which I'm not complaining about Yu Sheng!!! I loooove Yu Sheng!! But without the fish of course.. hehhe CJ eats all the raw fish. This in itself costs about $30 to get it done right... about $18 for the prepacked preserved ingredients, $8 forthe raw fish, $2 for the additional sauce and crispy biscuits and another $2 for the carrot, radish and cucumber to shred finely and dry before displaying. (image taken from

Okay.. then after all the consumer frenzy.. comes the real killer.


Remember the time that you happily got dressed in your best clothes on CNY morning.. in excited anticipation of the onslaught of red packets that come your way over the celebrations.. where relatives that you don't see for 362 days of the year suddenly appear saying "aiyoh! so big, so pretty already ah! here you go, Happy New Year!" while passing you a plump red packet of those crispy new dollar notes.

With a sweeping of the eye and giving the most innocent sweet smile, you flash your pearly whites in reply and happy prance away leaving nothing in your trail while headed to the nearest tray of snacks.

This only happens when you are a CHILD!! and when you are not married yet. *hmpf!*

When you get married in Singapore.. you only get a one year sabbatical where you are considered a newly wed and are then ''excused'' from giving out Ang Pows... where you furiously then try to concieve within the year so that at the 2nd Wedded year, you would be armed with "Baby" to recouperate your losses. *sounds crude but how often does this happen? ALOT*

We didn't plan it but it was also like that for us.. by the time we hit our 2nd year of marriage. We already had Lauren.. *smirk*

So the nights before, the red packets come out but not with so much excitement as you did when you saw them as a child.. the ques at the bank start to stretch to beyond the bank's doors while people gather to change their notes and draw "new money" for packing.

Hubby and myself start listing names of those we would be giving.. names of Adults and names of Children... we ponder and lie on the floor thinking.. "how much would be enough?" without seeming like sore misers nor wanting to exude fake generosity.

I believe that we can only give within our means and then so starts the packing.. labelled packs. Special packs.. and EXTRA generic packs.. for the inevitable children that suddenly "appear" and even without knowing their name.. we go up to them and offer them money. -.-''

Urgh.. we must be nuts but its "tradition". Give luck to Get luck.. so must be happy. *trying to convince myself that this is true...*

Not forgetting... winning and losing at Mahjong... its also 'tradition' to play Mahjong on CNY.. and we can only pray that luck is on our side when we do... to win instead of losing... *Crossing my fingers to draw in my first 13Yao... and "pong", "chow" and "kang" all beautifoool cards into my deck this new year* And hey! I only started playing less than a month okay! Not bad already hor! *chanting... must practice.. must practice.. hehehehe*

Wish me luck and here wishing you a very Prosperous Chinese New Year... Nian Nian You Yu... Gong Xi Fa Cai! and once more.. *haiz!* Chinese New Year is really expensive... :)

No comments: