24 January 2004

Chinese New Year Woes

I'm more than happy to skip all the Chinese New Year visiting; relatives are poison, and all the questioning they subject me with is not worth the ang pow money...

My CNY resolution of the year is: Learn to forget all dialects. This will prevent me from comprehending the longer sermons from my grandfather's sisters, who should really save those sermons for their own grandchildren.

Sample sermon...
"Don't you love your mother? She's brought you up for 27 years now, you should do your fillial duty and make sure she spends the rest of her days in peace and comfort. Find a girlfriend and get married soon, so your mother doesn't need to do any housework. You're a graduate, try to earn lots of money and buy a car, so you can drive your parents all over Singapore..."

Yes, if one day SDU decides to shoot advertisements in dialect, we'll know which kindly great-grandmother to recommend.

Now, compare that sermon to one very practical, encouraging, and uplifting advice my father's cousin gave me. I repeat it here, also for the benefit of Camorenesi:

"So the civil service rejected you last year. Never treat that rejection as final, never believe the doors are
closed... Try and try again. They always underestimate the number of people they need, so they're always hiring."

So, my second resolution for CNY is to try again for that cushy civil service job. Just to show that I haven't given up any hope of beating the underemployment trap, that I have a chance aside from applying for waitering...

So, how did we deal with the Stupid Annoying Questions of CNY?

"Have you gotten a job yet?"
"When are you getting married?"
"Don't be shy, show us your girlfriend someday!"

For my part, I dressed in Black and Grey during the reunion dinner and put on the most bochap face and the "Ask me anything stupid and I'll KILL you" attitude® that no one asked. And perhaps the fact that my aunts and uncles seem to have woken up to the fact that there are an alarmingly high number of graduate taxi drivers in Singapore, probably
saved me from the questions as well...

And yes, I didn't do any visiting this year. It's the best way of avoiding the SAQ... maybe next year, I'll spend the holiday overseas (even if it's in Johore).

That's because I'm too polite to reply to the SAQ the way I want:

1. No, I haven't got a job. May I ask if you have enough money in the CPF to retire? Or how many more years it'll take for you to pay off the housing loan? Or how close your company is to the next retrenchment exercise?

2. No, I'm not getting married. I'd rather live in a free love commune.

3. Well, I could bring along my blow-up Gackt doll next year, if it makes you feel happy...

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