To answer to all my friends.
Nope. I am not back in Penang this year for the Chinese New Year holidays. I wish I was though. It felt kinda lonely and lost being in Singapore because your relatives and family are back in Penang. Some of my childhood friends who have managed to contact me lately have also gone back to celebrate a high school reunion on the third day of Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is supposed to be a happy time for all. However, this year, we are so busy cutting costs that we have overlooked what Chinese New Year is supposed to be. I felt bad that I didn’t get my kids things I got each New Year. CNY clothes, CNY goodies. Nope. Luckily though, I’ve got Godma who sent the kids some money for Chinese New Year clothes because I myself can’t even bring myself to mention why I didn’t get them any. I’m so sorry, darlings. Perhaps one day when you read this, you will know that we have gone through a bad time from the Ox to the Tiger year. Just like I did 12 zodiac signs ago too. Uncanny but these two years seem to coincide with each other as bad years for me.. so true.
Thank you so much Godma, without you, their CNY would be so bleak.. Pathetic as it may seemed but reality is reality. We are in a bad situation, my family and I. Perhaps I didn’t mention it in my blog because I was busy trying to ‘stand-up’ and facing up to it since middle of last year, thus my going back to work. Such pathetic situation. Financial constraints have made my going back bleak this year. We can’t afford the high cost of air fares for the Chinese New Year because there are 5 of us, including the helper. She’s leaving in early March and I have to get a replacement soon unless I stop working.. I can’t stop work now, in fact I am trying a get a second job. Please don’t be shocked reading this, my friends but this is my life now. I have to face up to it bravely even though I am slogging hard, now with kids in tow.
No relatives have offered any assistance since they knew of our situation. To them, it’s only a piece of news. Bad news to them? We’ve always been generous paying through our nose for expensive dinners for them (end of dinners no one offers to pay waiting for us because we come from Sg earning Sg $), housing them when they come for holidays, money and gifts and more but when it comes to our bad situation now, we finally see some true colours, they all have gone silent and avoid contact. Perhaps they are also trying to widen their distance when they find out, just in case we ask for something? It’s ok, we understand. Funny thing was a friend, a blogger I’d known in the last few years only offered me financial assistance. That was Nancy. We always call each other a twin because of our similar zodiac years, moles, leftie and horoscope signs. Uncanny but we clicked so well. It was a good feeling and although I didn’t accept her financial assistance, I felt blessed to have known someone who actually step forward this way. Not that I’d known her for a decade even!
Money wise, I have to deal with it myself. And some bloggers and fb friends gave me emotional support and listening shoulder. Dragon, Sue, SueSue, Kopi Soh and Evily. You all know who you are. Thank goodness for all of you. I’d have crumpled under all those pressure! Thank you so much dearests!
A friend asked me why don’t we drive back instead. The traffic jams are terrible, we can take our time no doubt.. but we cannot afford the toll charges! LOL It’s the truth. And we do not have spare money for angpows too. I know some relatives back home always expect some big red packets from us because they always think it’s Singapore dollars and everything should be more but they have forgotten that we live and SPEND in Singapore dollars. We don’t earn in SG and spend in Msia, mind you! I remembered once we gave a red packet to a close relative, she opened it up and commented why is it in RM$ instead of in SG$!!! I was shocked.. perhaps it was rather rude to open it up in front of everyone and wave the notes and make such a comment, don’t you think so? And the amount was not that little either, it was few hundred dollars, albeit in ringgit… it’s still money.
Unless we have a motorhome, we can forget the high cost of living in Singapore and drive back to park in Msia daily and spend everything in ringgit.. This time we shall be keeping at home quiet and to ourselves for CNY. We don’t hope for the roaring Tiger year, but as long as we can survive the year’s ordeal and clear our bills, we are thankful.
pic of Pulau Tikus, taken sometime in March last year.
But to all my lovely chinese readers and friends reading this, I do wish you a wonderful Chinese New Year and perhaps this post will remind you all to count your blessings.. like I am.
Above all, I wish you Health, Safety and Love, Happiness. Not wealth nor prosperity not fortune. Nope, not this year.