At 7am this morning my phone started going bonkers and I was woken up with a very bright, loud,
In my half-conscious state, I yanked my cellphone away from my ear and tried to hit the red button. After fumbling for about roughly three seconds, I hit it and remembered, in my stupor, that I was supposed to call my family at 6am that morning.
Thank you, Physics and Linear Algebra.
I apologized to my cousin via WhatsApp and told her that I had to go brush my teeth. Being astute, she told me that she would not be able to smell my breath across a screen.
Ah, Pei. You have not been exposed to the oral fumes of yours truly.
I brushed my teeth and sat down with my iPhone and a pair of earphones. Then in the next 30 minutes, I was enthusiastically shown around my home and reintroduced to everyone I had not seen in four months. Amah seemed okay, albeit thinner than usual. Everyone was about the same. Jessie was notably rounder. QiQi looked slightly taller. Lucky was shivering under the chair because the fireworks scared her. Pei Li was as lanky as always, and Yean enjoyed saying hi multiple times over the phone. I wished Ji Ko gong xi fa cai through Mei Choo Jie’s handphone (it was, as she put it, a phone-ception).
The rest of the day was a flurry of photos of family, yee sang, steamboat, reunion dinners, and Rooster Year pictures courtesy of multiple friends and relatives. I looked at the food and salivated.
This is the first of four Chinese New Years that I will be missing. It only just occurred to me today how much I had taken for granted while I was back home. I also wonder if students aspiring to study overseas are aware of how much they will have to give up to fulfill their ambitions. While family and friends will be spending the New Year celebrating, I have a meeting and dance practice due tomorrow, as well as a concrete mix to make (which my grad student advisor will hopefully not reject). Sometimes, the stark contrast still catches me unawares.
So, in celebration of the 2016 Year of the Rooster, here is a picture of my favorite chicken: