Life In Partial Stillness

Posted on: January 27, 2009

If you are ever wondering how I spent my Chinese New Year, it definitely isn’t traditional. Highly unconventional, that’s what.

It all started on last Saturday night.

My mom’s friends came over for dinner and we all had a semi-feast. I considered it a prelude to the new year, minus the food overload. Thankfully. I simply cannot handle huge portions of food these days. Takes the life out of me.

That was when we tossed the yusheng.

You know, I never was a fan of finely shredded raw carrots and radishes being tossed with candied ginger, what-have-you-nots and a dollop of plum sauce. Seemed too funky a taste to be acquired.

However, I strangely took to it that time. Though no credits are given to the raw salmon that my mom topped the dish with. However much I adore salmon.

The following feast came in epic proportions. And I mean EPIC. We sat down for a steamboat styled dinner on Sunday night, the eve of the Lunar New Year.

My parents took all day to prepare the several raw meats and vegetables that were to play accompaniments to the host of a soup. Chicken soup, to be exact. Extremely light and pure, minus the MSG, made-from-simmering-chicken-bones-in-boiling-water soup. Thereafter, we discussed the order of throwing the ingredients in the soup. Pretty a make-or-break decision. The order would always determine the sweetness of the soup after all the intense boiling to come.

The verdict for the dinner? As usual, I ate slower and cooked even slower. That’s why I always tell my family that it’s bo hua* for me to join them for a steamboat dinner. Or with anyone, for that matter.

(*bo hua: Hokkien for not worthwhile.)

At the end of it all, the soup was rather difficult to swallow, considering the solid bits of protein and what-nots were swimming about in it. It was sure “solid!” as my mom had put it.

I suppose my dad was the happiest on that night. He had been looking forward to a steamboat styled meal ever since the multi-purpose cooker, which we had our steamboat in, was bought. Yes, the dinner was pre-planned centuries ago.

Oh dad.

To top off the meal, in my case, I munched on a white nectarine. Though I took a bite out of it and found out the flesh was yellow. I called it, “The Nectarine with an identity crisis”. Never knew fruits were into it as well.

Actually, eating the nectarine after dinner was to my mom’s surprise. “You can still eat that?” Sure. Dinner was all about being seemingly full for me. Maybe after I stopped smelling cooked food, my senses had recovered and my appetite, regained.

Simply put, I am a small eater.

Now comes the interesting bit.

Yesterday, we took a hike to the Henderson Waves through an elevated metal-grill-walk in our ever prominent urban jungle. Or what I would like to term, “Concrete Jungle”.

We hiked up the seemingly precarious and winding paths to Mount Faber and ate our simple picnic fare, with passing traffic as our “piped-in music”. The walk through the metal-grill-walk that was suspended about 20 stories above ground level sure got my senses in high alert.

I have a phobia for heights you see. Plus, for the close-to-the-sky metal-grill-walk, it doesn’t help to have grills with gaps as wide as the thickness of your finger under your every step.

As for the view… Let’s say the only concrete structures to note were the quaint British-colonial-styled residences along Preston Road (you can see them if you are entering through Alexandra Road and walking along the Forest Walk).

To highlight, moderately strong gusts of wind can only be felt when you are perched mid-way in the Marang Trail. Chill and dry. Perfect for a semi-humid afternoon.

After it all, we hiked down to civilisation. The trail to Harbourfront MRT was shrouded with near pin-drop silence. Pretty chilling considering the fact that thoughts about the Blair Witch Project were constantly bombarding my mind.

Made it out safely and thoroughly enriched. Now that was a part of Singapore (the boardwalk and where it led to) I never knew about.

Subsequently, my family and I had idle chit-chat at Pacific Coffee in Vivocity, once again. For the first time, the alfresco area was devoid of customers. Well, mildly devoid of. Go Chinese New Year! What a time to spend at a typically packed mall with my family.


So that was how my family and I spent our pre-, eve of and first day of the Lunar New Year. No visitations, mandarin oranges and overload on those candies and sweet sweet New Year goodies.

Now how did I spend my time during the Lunar New Year?

Highly unconventionally; bolded and underlined.


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