Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

My experience with Chinese New Year

So today is officially the 14th day of Chinese New Year. Tomorrow would be the 15th and marks the end of the festive season and the ‘real’ coming of the New year. As per our customary traditions, we would go and pray to my grandparents and my great great grandparents at the columbarium. Usually we go on the 15th day but because it lands on a Monday this year so we have to arrange it on a weekend because the adults have to work and the children have to study.

Usually we go and pray on their death anniversaries, 1st and last day of Chinese New Year, Ching Ming, 7th month and I think thats about it. In the past they used to be buried in the cemetery. But Singapore has a rule that you can only be buried for a certain amount of years before you have to exhume them and move them to a columbarium. This is necessary in order to save space and its actually alot more convienient.

I remember in the past we had to hike up and down to search for the tombstone and though it was somehow more ‘fun’ to go there because you get to trim the grass there and clean the tombstone and it just makes it more memorable. But the hiking was definitely no joke. Plus the 47238947923 people that go there is just fantastically amazingly horribly crampy. So yep, it was good in the past but its great now.

Anyway, remember I mentioned yesterday about people crowding around to watch the dragon dance so they can see the numbers made from the orange? Heres a picture of one. This one was taken from the columbarium.

orange

So yea, its up to you to intepret which way to read the numbers and if your lucky you’ll strike!

offerings

These are some of the offerings that we buy to present to our ancestors so they can have a nice meal on these special occasions. Because my ancestors are all from Hainan Island, so they really LOVE CHICKEN RICE. Especially Hainanese chicken rice! And I heard from my parents that my grandparents make delicious chicken rice, unfortunately the skill wasn’t passed down because no one was interested. :(

offerings

Some of the offerings from other people, favourite food of their ancestors.

So usually we would buy chicken rice, fa gao etc etc to pray.

ingot

On such days we also burn ‘money’ to our ancestors so they can buy food and etc. Like in the picture, the original is the long yellow paper thing and you have to fold it into the ingot shape before burning. This is so that it becomes ‘money’ and is not just random pieces of yellow paper. The other type has to be rolled into something like an ingot shape as well. I forgot to take a picture of that one though.

tablets

These are the tablets. So usually after placing our offerings, we will pray. We usually place a really huge joss stick and light it. When its approximately halfway burnt, we go down and burn the offerings. After that we sit around and chat so the ancestors can eat. Then the youngest in the family will pua bei. Its this throwing of two red things. If its two up then it means smiling, one up one down means ok, two down means unhappy i think. I don’t really know.

So if its ok, then we can pack up the food and go. For most, they would eat the food there but because its abit troublesome for us so we would just packet the food home. So yea, its like a mini re-union whenever we go and pray. And its actually really nice to go there and pray for what you wish for, spend some time with your relatives etc. So yea.

To end off, I’ll show you a special picture of a very special sharks fin.

sharks fin

GREEN SHARKS FIN!

WAYYY COOL RIGHT? hahaha. and my mummy said its really delicious as well. With vinegar and pepper, you definitely can’t go wrong with GREENS SHARKS FIN!! ((:

Have a happy Sunday people. (:

Eating Carl Junior Burger

My experience with Carl’s Junior

Decided to take away Carl’s Junior because we were feeling really hungry one day and the size of the burger is really huge compared to the burger from Macdonalds or burger king!

double western
Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger

double western
Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger

According to the website,this is how they described the burger: “Two Charbroiled All-Beef Patties, Two Strips of Bacon, Two Slices of Melted American Cheese, Crispy Onion Rings and Tangy BBQ Sauce on a Toasted Sesame Seed Bun.”

And though the burger we bought was rather cold when we reached home and kind of soggy, I have to admit that the onion rings still maintained its crunchiness!

And this is probably the best burger from their range!

When you bite into the burger, you don’t just taste the beef patties, but also the bacon’s crisp in your mouth. Coupled with the crispy onion rings and the cheese melting in your mouth, I have to say this is the best burger hands down.

You just keep taking one bite after another with this burger!

It has the most ingredients and all of their ingredients combined together really makes for an awesome burger. Eating there would be even more enjoyable with their free flow of drinks. (:

thick burger

thick burger

I really can’t remember the name of this burger! But judging from the looks I’ll say it comes with one beef patty, bacon, onion rings, cheese and sesame seed bun. (:

Comparing just the ingredients of this burger with the double western, the double western wins hands down with two patties.

And comparing taste, I would say that the taste is similar but when you hold the double western burger in your hands, you feel like your getting your money’s worth I guess.

So yea, taste may be siimilar but the double western gives you a more your-indulging-in-sinful-food feeling in comparasion.

superstar with cheese
Superstar with Cheese

superstar with cheese
Superstar with Cheese

Described in the website as “Two Charbroiled All-Beef Patties, Two Slices of American Cheese, Lettuce, Two Slices of Tomato, Sliced Onions, Dill Pickles, Special Sauce, and Mayonnaise on a Toasted Sesame Seed Bun.”

Again, it pales in comparasion to the double western!

Because of the lack of onion rings, this burger lacked in the crunchiness. Though there were pickles, but it still couldn’t attain the sort of crunchiness the double western had.

The combination of the ingredients were good but the double western was simply better!

All in all, EAT THE DOUBLE WESTERN BURGER FROM CARL’S JUNIOR!

And you should definitely eat the beef burgers from there and not the chicken ones cause the size really pales in comparasion. Trust me!

frappuccino

frappuccino
frappunccino

DON’T BUY THIS!

The frappuccino doesn’t taste like frappuccino but more like ordinary coffee even I could boil for you! And its really not a good representation of starbucks coffee!

For the price you’re paying for this, you might as well save the money and buy yourself a good cup of coffee from starbucks!

At least there you can smell the aroma of the coffee and you feel like you’re really getting good quality coffee.

Not this poopy frappuccino that sucked.

 

Money is the root to all evil

Can I borrow $25?

This is a story that is pretty common, it’s spread around the internet, I received it in the mail a couple of times myself. But to those who haven’t read this story yet, I believe this story is worth sharing so here goes…

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’

DAD: ‘Yeah sure, what it is?’ replied the man.

SON: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.

SON: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?’

DAD: ‘If you must know, I make $50 an hour.’

SON: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: ‘Daddy, may I please borrow $25?’

The father was furious, ‘If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.’

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn’t ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

‘Are you asleep, son?’ He asked.

‘No daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy.

‘I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier’ said the man. ‘It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.’

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. ‘Oh, thank you daddy!’ he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had some money and started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?’ the father grumbled.

‘Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied.

‘Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.’

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

Its a simple story really, the moral of it is even simpler then the story itself. Alot of times, we work so hard that we forgot what we are working for. Its so easy to immerse yourself in work and tell yourself that you go to work to earn money, as a means of livelihood. But think about the real reason why you work. Very often, you work hard to support your family, your children, your pets and even if you’re single, you work hard to repay your parents for all they have given you.

So your working really hard for them, but is it really worth it to work so hard for them when in the process you forget about them? Materialistic needs are stuff that changes with time, like fashion that changes with each season, such needs are never permanent. I could want an Ipod today and a Playstation tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you fufil all of your children materialistic wants, but it’s very important that you learn how to fufil their needs. They need you to be there for them on their graduation day, on their first day of school, on their parent-teacher rapport station and they need you to be there for dinner every single day to listen to what happened to them in school.

Sometimes its not all about giving, its also a little about taking. You should be a little selfish sometimes, selfish enough to let go of the additional money you might earn for working an extra hour. Use that hour to spend it with your children and it makes a huge difference to them.

Think about it. How much does your hour cost? $50? Think about it again. How much are you missing in your child’s/parent’s/partner’s/pet’s life by coming back an hour late?

$50/$60/$70/$100 in exchange for an hour to let your children know how much you love them by listening to them.

Suddenly, that amount of money doesn’t quite add up to what your missing now does it?