It has been almost 2 full months into 2013, and this is my very first post.
We had a historic moment early this year. We have a female opposition party candidate winning a SMC seat in the Punggol East by-election. Hurray! History was created on 26 Jan!
Last 2 weeks we were busy celebrating Chinese New Year. Not that busy for me actually. Not that I had a lot to do for the festive period, except more than a week of grating pineapples for pineapple tarts, and trying frantically in vain to buy new clothes. I can’t believe how much prices in department stores have gone up, and why do so many dresses now look like rags with poor material and holes all over??! I ended up wearing my old clothes which I very much prefer. Brands that were selling dresses at $50-$80 a few years back had their dresses starting from double those prices, with quality that isn’t any better than before. I kept saying to Mr D that I would feel more emotionally balanced if I spent those money buying pots and pans or whatever tools for my kitchen instead. Those few hours of trying to shop left me thinking whether I had been hurling up in a hole these years, or has my thinking been drifting away from that of the masses? To think that at one time, I was a shopaholic??
Even though we had some
idiot guy banging into our car from behind on the first day of Chinese New Year (luckily no one was hurt and no major damage done), CNY generally went along better than I had expected, and before we knew it, 24 Feb was the last day of it.
But I want to pen it down, that 16 Feb should be another significant day.
Prior to that day, the government released a White Paper on population. That drove a lot of us nuts. With many issues that are emerging or accumulating (if they have already emerged), we are hearing things that our little island is going to have 6.9M population in 2030, and that Singaporeans are not a big group in that figure.
I honestly really miss those days when we do not feel squeezed for space every where we went. Those days where we do not have so many traffic jams and there roads were much more empty. Now, I feel claustrophobic and reluctant to go out as much as I did, because I do not enjoy jostling that much, and those traffic congestion even late at night at 11pm drive me nuts. The thought of your country being made up not mainly by foreigners also makes it hard to digest for many people. It feels as if we are being squeezed out from our own homes and those at the top can’t feel a single thing. Then the newspaper was filled with letters from the public, with lots of voices and opinions.
But on 16 Feb, there was
a protest a demonstration held at Speakers’ Corner. The turnout was huge. About 5000 people turned up despite the rain, with their umbrellas, wanting to have their voices heard. The turnout had far exceeded my expectation. In my entire life, I do not recall seeing anything like this. I had expected people to make noises behind their computer screens, but remain at home when it comes to events like this. This has got to be a day in history. I felt hopeful. I felt proud. I felt protective. I felt happy that people are taking actions to make themselves heard (even though there are several people around me who do not even bother to know what is going on around us and I think they ought to feel ashamed of themselves).
There was a video going being shared around, which showed the event ended with the people singing our National Anthem. As soon as the singing started, the hair on my hand stood. I even had the urge to stand up and sing as I watched. It was that instinctive and emotional. Never felt like that before.
That night, I kept thinking about it and smiled..
Today is Christmas.
I’m not feeling very Christmassy. There is no tree in the house.
The tree is spending its Christmas in its box, in the storeroom. Just like last year. And the year before. Oops.
It’s not that we do not want to put up the tree. It’s just that in its place in the living room are some other
Besides, we were so busy the past week, I could hardly breathe.
Not all excuses. I was really busy baking.
Making cupcakes, cake pops and cakes for people who have placed orders for the goodies to share their joy and celebratory mood with their loved ones.
It’s hard to imagine that of all the baking and time I spent in the kitchen, none, I repeat NONE of those are for people I treasure – my family, my friends.
I have the habit of not making wastage, which means no extras, and no room for mistakes.
It didn’t quite dawn on me when I was planning my bakes earlier, that I would have no extras. I was just focused on getting all my orders done without having a pair of hands that feel disconnected to my body – which means I have to be most energy-efficient.
There has been a comment which had been making its rounds on Facebook lately. Apparently, it was from a couple who had just gotten married. The new wife was said to have sent a message to one of their guests after the dinner, and said that they could not find the red packet (or “love offering” as they so nicely chose to call it) from the guest. The message also blatantly asked the guest whether he did write his name on the red packet, or did he give it at all. It said something like “in the event you are unable to give an offering due to unforeseen circumstances, it is only basic courtesy to let us know…”
My only reaction – S.P.E.E.C.H.L.E.S.S.
I am not sure who should be asking for the basic courtesy in this case.
But I do have my take on Chinese wedding dinners in recent years.