Yes! It’s the 1st day of the Chinese Lunar New Year today, the Year of the Rat! We have not celebrated this auspicious occasion for a few years now following the demise of my parents but we are this year and we certainly have a reason to celebrate – my girl has been posted to a school in town, no longer at her jungle school anymore.

I used to go all out with the decorations but this year, I’ve toned down somewhat and I’m keeping it rather simple. I went to buy three of these lanterns to hang at the arches on my patio…

Lanterns, outside

…but I did not want those gaudily red and gold ones that make one’s house look like a temple. I sure was glad that I managed to find these lovely floral pumpkin-shaped ones, RM98.00 each, pretty and not overly-showy, I thought. No, I did not fix any lights – I’m a friend of the environment, no need to waste electricity…and no, no firecrackers and fireworks for me either – I have no intention of contributing to the air pollution and global warming!

Inside the house, I bought these two lanterns (RM18.90 each)…

Lanterns, inside

They’re those do-it-yourself ones and I was supposed to assemble them myself. However, the sweet young things at the shop asked me if I would like them to do it for me and of course, I said yes. Golly gee!!! It sure did not look easy and if I were to do it myself, I would destroy them in no time at all, I’m sure – me and my clumsy hands.

These pussy willows…

Pussy willows

…are from a few years ago. This year, since we are celebrating, my missus bought new ones for inside the house and I took the old ones outside. I made a few lanterns using ang pao packets and bought a pack of the tiny ones and another pack of the fans to decorate the stems.

I spotted this…

Nativity Scene decor

…a Chinese New Year-ish Christmas tree ornament with the Nativity Scene at the Catholic Articles Centre here and I simply couldn’t resist buying. I attached a tail to it and placed it at a prominent place right in the centre of it all in the hope that my family and I shall be abundantly blessed in the year ahead.

In the meantime, I received this Chinese New Year card…

From Brisbane

…probably the only one I shall be getting this year, all the way from my cousin in Brisbane, Australia. She sent it on 1st January and it got here within two weeks, thank you so much, Teresa – that’s so sweet of you.

These came from my dear ol’ friend, Jasmine, in Adelaide, Australia…

From Adelaide

– a beautiful Friendship calendar for 2020, a birthday card and a Christmas card. She sent them in the middle of November and for reasons unknown, they took TWO WHOLE MONTHS to arrive, thank you so much to you too, Jas.

These came all the way from Australia as well, from Perth, to be exact, the grapes and the avocados…

From Perth

…from a faithful reader of mine there. He comes home every year and never fails to bring me something from there, such a thoughtful and generous guy he is, thank you so very very much. No, obviously he bought the tickets here but do wish me lots and lots of luck, everybody! Fingers crossed, I will strike it big this Chinese New Year. LOL!!!

My dear cousin and his lovely wife never fails to give me something every Chinese New Year…

From Lek & Saliah

…some goodies from the kampung. Thank you so much to the two of you, Lek & Saliah – I particularly love the kuih sepit/kapit with sesame seeds added, so much so that I have already finished half of the tub before the dawning of the new year, believe you me.

In the meantime, I got word from my friend, Merryn, in KL. She also sent me something via POSLAJU but the national courier service is facing some VERY serious problems these days and people are receiving their mail EXTREMELY late – “laju” is the very last word to describe their service, I’m afraid. Nonetheless, I marched to their office yesterday afternoon to enquire and lo and behold! I got the cookies…

Cookies from Merryn

…just in time for the new year, thank you heaps to you too, Merryn – that’s so very sweet of you!

Now, if you may recall, I did say the other day that I love surprises, especially the ones least expected and it sure was a lovely surprise when my ex-student, James, sent word that he and his family were on their way home by road and were in Sarikei already at that point in time and he had some things for me. He got to my house at around 9.00 p.m. so of course, I only got to enjoy them the next day.

James kept telling me about this dish…


…but by the time he left, the only thing I could remember was it was vegetarian. LOL!!! It was very nice – it tasted something like our daging masak hitam except that there was no meat in it.

He told me that the other dish was bicol, a Filipino fermented pork delight…


…and yes, we loved it a lot! It was super-duper spicy and super delicious, something like masak lemak or the nyonya laksa curry in taste. I sure would want to order that if ever I set foot in a Filipino restaurant anytime in the near future, a big thank you to you too, James – thanks for remembering and for going through all that trouble to bring them all the way to let me try. We sure had a delightful dinner that night.

I guess I shall have more on the festival in my future posts and in the meantime, here’s wishing one and all a very Happy and Blessed and Prosperous Chinese New Year…

Year of the rat

新年快樂! Xīnnián kuàilè! 恭喜發財! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

6 thoughts on “Rat…”

  1. First and foremost, wishing you and your family a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. Kiong Hee Huat Cai.

    Yeah, I like simple decoration for the house, not overly done that makes it looks like a temple. The two lanterns inside the house looks nice and unique.

    Thank you and the same to you and yours.

    Yes, but right now I don’t know how I am going to keep them. If I dismantle them, I may not be able to put them back together again. LOL!!!

  2. The lanterns inside the house look so elegant! Gong xi fa cai to you and your family.

    Thank you, and the same to you. Yes, I thought they look nice too.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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