Tuesday, February 22, 2005

There's something about ..... CNY visiting

Tomorrow is the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year (CNY). In Chinese customs, you have all that 15 days to visit your relatives and friends at their homes or welcome them to your home.

Today I went visiting (yes.. last minute one)to 2 of my relatives' house. It's those relatives that are not important to visit very early in the CNY period, but important enough not to miss it totally.

Or another way putting it, relatives you only meet once a year and for all that 20 minutes of it.

20 minutes...... It's shorter than a Sitcom.

20 minutes...... It's how much a woman spend in the bathroom, just doing up the face.

But this 20 minutes at my relatives' place is as long as The Last Emperor. Time seems to freeze. Suddenly you felt taking Uni exams is much easier.

In this 20 minutes, you try to recap the last 1 year in summary. And if you lead normal life without much excitment, your 1 year of life can be easily summarized in 5 minutes. This year, we try to use my wife's pregnancy as a conversation topic and that last another 5 more minutes.

And you realised the next 10 minutes is like watching The Last Emperor the second time round.

Immediately your survival instinct came into use. Before the 10th minute is up, you started to glance thru your relative's head and see what can be the next conversation topic.

The aim is not to have any awkward silence.

You started to scan thru your memory and see if they have done any new home improvements.

"Oh.. you got a new wall paint?"
"Nice colour. Which Brand?"
"Nippon is good"
"Did you paint yourself or you got someone to do it?"
"Wah... you very can!"
"How many cans of paint did you buy?"
"is it expensive?"
"How long did you take?"
"Wah So long... but the result is worth it."

5 minutes gone.

And the last 5 minutes is a breeze. You started to shift your buttocks abit to indicate that it's time to leave. Then follow by the "oh...it's getting late" look at your watch.

Then they will always offer you to stay for dinner. You will always say no because of... (any reasoning is lost in translation because the host is also busy trying to get you out of the house)

5 minutes gone.

No comments: