Sort of. With being with a large group of people speaking a different language from me, but sometimes talking about me.
How not to make any more faux pas over the next very important days. Chinese New Year, the most auspicious time for families.
Who to give money in red envelopes to, how much is deemed acceptable, where to find an ATM that’s not run out of money.
As little sister, being told on a need to know basis, sometimes with short notice, where I have to be and when. But never being quite sure who will be there when I arrive.
Spotting when a sibling says it’s not important, but actually means it’s very important.
How the hierarchy in a traditional family works.
My head is quite confused. But I know that my heart is willing. As an independent strong minded woman in the UK, it is a huge shock to lose almost all my autonomy at such an emotional time and not to be able to understand most of the discussions around me.
I was told not to bring anything apart from my ‘face’ to NYE dinner. In case this is not what is actually meant, I’ve bought some strawberries, white chocolate and dark chocolate and will attempt to melt the chocolate in the common room microwave Bain Marie style and create something artistic. Imported Danish Cookies seem to be very popular but I couldn’t bring myself to buy these.
This morning, I met up with all my siblings except my little sister, and we took my ‘new’ second brother to my Mother’s grave. His first visit and my second. Another very emotional time. It was like summer’s day. I’d already been taken to McDonalds for breakfast, and two hours later lunch. But it felt good to be sitting and sharing with my family, delicious vegetarian food, chosen especially for me, in the restaurant of the famous Yuen Yuen temple where our Mother is buried. They are some of the kindest, warm hearted, caring beings. Gentle, wanting to help me do everything, as if I were 5 again, so for now I’m just going to try and be a well behaved and obedient little sister and enjoy the ride.
This afternoon all my siblings had jobs to do, so I headed over to Victoria Park to experience the real get ready for NYE deal. The Lunar festival fair in the park. It felt like a mix of the Ideal Home Show, Wellesbourne Market, Wyevale Garden Centre, the Good Food Show and goodness knows what else. Some great Instagram shots to be had, if I did Instagram and could take a decent photo. But here’s a few snaps so you get the idea.
So much more I’d like to tell you but I have to go melt and dip.