Posts Tagged ‘happy chinese new year’

Gong xi fa cai!

January 24, 2012
Happy Chinese New Year to all you Chinese out there…and to those like myself who always wish they could be just a little more culturally attached to it, as opposed to just simply interested. It’s a re-occurring theme for me, these different Chinese festivals and always feeling somewhat culturally envious about the tradition and thought behind everything celebrated. It is so much more than a bunch of people getting tanked then watching fireworks.

I was in Box Hill on Saturday afternoon, helping out my work who had a tent in the middle of all the goings on. It was quiet, with not many Chinese approaching the mostly whitey staff – and i got the feeling that when you’re definitively in the minority, the mostly Chinese crowd  just plain and simple cant be bothered speaking English. I was there for two hours and it passed by quickly, though it was disgustingly hot and humid, leaving me dripping with sweat.

In between speaking to several people, I simply stood there as an observer, people watching. That in itself was fun. You had everything from the Chinese families with their super cute face painted children, to the old pasty white men with their super young Chinese wives ($$..ick).

The festival always cracks me up – the tents on display are just not ‘festival’ – it’s more like a local trade show. Maybe you need to be Asian to appreciate it, but you have tents promoting everything from the post office, to pillows, to bank accounts. Of course there’s always the eye-test tests, and dvd stands and nowadays a plethora of Angry Bird plushie stands.

The definite highlight for me is the food, the lamb skewers in particular. And this year – even they were disappointing! I bought four (for a whopping ten bucks) and both were brimming with fat and only barely cooked – it’s as if they’re cranking out as many as humanly possible to make as much money as humanly possible. Of course as we got close in the queue, a Chinese guy pushed in front of me to order some for himself showing that yes, they’re not only rude bastards on the Mainland!

We didn’t really spend too much time walking around, it just wasn’t worth it. The festival attracts upwards of 80,000 people every year, and the narrow walkways through the tents are absolutely packed with people. Worse is the food street where you have even more people; all with eyes on the food stands and not where they’re walking! I tried a korean potato twist which was delicious – though a bit of a rip-off at five bucks, then a strawberry skewer covered in toffee…another five bucks..then a mango and coconut sago drink which was again, five bucks. So with a full belly and empty pockets, we headed home to wash our faces, as nothing quite makes you feel as disgusting as bloody humidity!

May your 2012 be prosperous!

Yeah baby!

And the highlight of the day....these awesome Chinese lion hand puppets!

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