what we say
If there is a Chinese New Year equivalent of the Grinch, I may very well be it.
Pineapple tarts? Bah. They'll make me fatter than I already am.
And don't get me started on the caucus race of visiting, and the subsequent guilt of missing out on relatives whom you know you should go meet before they keel over.
Some women are hiring boyfriends just so that they don't have to handle those pesky questions from relatives. And like everything else in our ultra-connected and efficient world, these days you simply have to flip open your laptop to book and pay for one.
As a child, Chinese New Year was better for me than even Christmas and its presents.
I remember being tremendously vain, pestering my mother to allow me some make-up and dolling up with gold bracelets and stockings. Now, I am ransacking the closet for have-not-worn clothes that will qualify as "new" and refusing to even look at lipstick.
As one travel manager put it, you can have an 11-day vacation with just three days of leave!
What prescient planning!
I'll confess to being envious of the folks who are going away.
But I'm more envious of those who reckon they can attend poverty simulation classes to learn empathy. Singapore Island Country Club recently made the headlines for the wrong reasons when it offered this class to its members.
Think about it: You need to pay for a workshop to feel what it's like to be poor. Read the acerbic commentary from S M Ong.
These rich folks will never know what it is like to carefully squirrel away a stash of hongbao money, and stretching it to last the whole year because you know that's all you'll be able to rely on for an allowance.
Grinch or not, I'm packing hongbao just in case someone else needs the squirrelling away.