Chinese New Year Survival Guide for Singles

Hi guys, I’ve been invited as a weekly blogger/columnist for my friend’s dating app Love Out Loud Asia, check them out. This is my second post and you can read it here as well. 

Chinese New Year is in the air (literally, being played in supermarkets and shopping malls) and I can practically smell the bah kwa already. Before you start to dread the inevitable “when are you getting a boyfriend/girlfriend/getting married/having kids” questions, here’s a guide to question sidestepping and ban-luck huating during this festive period(results may vary):

Auntie Interrogation 101

I used to wonder if every year, just before Chinese New Year, aunties would hold secret gatherings around Sheng Siong supermarkets to exchange ideas on ways to grill the “youngsters” with awkward, unanswerable questions in exchange for an angbao. Then, I realised the questions are pretty much standard. In fact, so are the answers:

  • “Got boyfriend/girlfriend already?”
    • “Waiting for you to introduce to me.”
    • “I’m dating someone already, but don’t tell my mom!” Proceed to fantasize with the auntie.
    • “Actually, I’m gay/lesbian…….Just kidding!” (This one’s my favourite, simply because aunties are so homophobic.)
  • “When getting married?”
    • “When you sponsor my wedding lor”
    • “Waiting for baby first, nowadays fashion to shotgun wedding!”
  • “When is the baby coming?”
    • “When you volunteer to babysit. You know childcare costs nowadays…”
    • “I don’t know auntie, the sex is really too good to give up.”

Side note: It is strongly advisable to collect your red packet before using these responses.

Photo credit: The New Paper

Photo credit: The New Paper

You are now entering a Fat-for-Free zone

With once-in-a-year snacks lying around the house, it’s so difficult to resist munching on just one. It always starts with one. Before you let yourself go on those devilish little things, here’s a friendly calorie reminder:

Snack (Portion size) – Calories
Peanut Crackers (3 rolls) – 418
Bak Kwa pork (1 slice) – 370
Pineapple Tarts (3 pieces) – 246
Kueh Lapis (1 slice) – 240
Love Letters (3 rolls) – 168
Yusheng (1 serving) – 145
Roasted nuts salted (1 handful) – 123

Jogging, 2.2m/s, 30 minutes, 60kg person = 200 calories. FYI, jogging at 2.2m/s gets you 18minutes on a 2.4km run. Go figure. (As in, there goes your figure.)

D-Day (or Day 1-15)

To Wear

Being finally able to wear that shirt/dress you’ve been saving since Christmas is another Chinese New Year highlight. Pro-tip: save your better pieces when you’re meeting new people. Your cousins have probably already seen the most unglam side of you.

To Bring

Besides the pair of mandarin oranges and mahjong investment capital, some might forget to bring an ample supply of name cards. Here in Singapore, it’s pretty full-on if a guy asks a lady’s number  a few hours after meeting her, so name cards are a good grey area to play around in. And throw him a lifeline, ladies; give him your name card if you think you might be interested.

Credit: David Coppini

Credit: David Coppini

To Do/Talk

  • Always offer to help the host with serving or cleaning up. A little goes a long way in improving impressions.
  • Be up-to-date with the latest happenings (i.e. Bangkok protests, Li Na and Wawrinka, Woodlands Checkpoint fiasco, Stephanie Koh, Juan Mata)
  • Go easy on the alcohol. The last thing you want to do is get drunk at your friends’ place.
  • Leave your thoughts on Anton Casey at the door.

That’s it for me this Snake Year. <insert generic, boring and narcissistic post about how this year had a lot of ups and downs (no shit, really?!) and hope that the new year will treat you better>

Have a good one, boys and girls.

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Shameless Post-Christmas Self-Plug

Ah, now that Christmas is well and truly over, all of us can look forward to Chinese New Year songs at shopping malls now. *squeals in excitement* (It’s figurative, men don’t squeal. Unless they are unwrapping their FIFA13 present).

In case I haven’t, hope you had a Merry Jolly Christmas and here’s to a happier new year.

Okay, now that we’ve got the icky, obligatory stuff out, let’s talk about Christmas itself. Although Christmas is Christian, I’m glad that the spirit of giving permeates all of us during this festive period (well, some of us who bothers to buy presents for their loved ones).

Now I know, half-empty glass holders are going to say: “Christmas is SO commercialised, it’s just businesses who want to boost sales and feed the fat cats, blah blah excuse for not getting your parents anything”. And to some extent I have to agree. Businesses do exist for a profit (and they feed you every month), so it’s understandable that they want to cash in on your love. On the other hand, almost everyone is susceptible to some form of commercialisation (yeah, you included). So if you say Christmas is commercialised, go live in a cave and live off plants and insects, you hippie.

Okay, even if we go by your commercialisation argument, there’re a TON of self-made gifts that can trump a certain blue box from the smart business people at Tiffany & Co. (LOL, what a good joke eh? Materialism 1, Bryan Xie 0)

Anyhooo, my purpose of this post is to spread the joy of giving. One important note: Giving is not expecting anything in return. When you give a present, your sole purpose should be to make that person’s life better and seeing him/her smile. Because you love that person. You should never expect anything.

<Self plug special>

So, this is what I got for my family members. 😀 😀

My Father

It’s  not easy finding a present for this man when you’ve given almost every golf-related item known to man(even a trophy with his name on it) except a country club membership. Luckily, I saw a nice ZARA dress shirt for him, which I originally wanted to get for myself but I was thinking he needed some long sleeved shirts. The man is trying to epitomise the uncle style of wearing short sleeve shirts everyday. *shudders*

ZARA dress shirt

My Mother

It’s even tougher for my mom ‘cos she doesn’t need anything. She is so frugal. To her, she’s happy to see her three sons grow up to proper, honest men who can hold their weight in the world. She’s amazing, my mother. I know she likes Swarovski so I managed to find a beautiful Swarovski snowflake charm for her.

Over here, you can see the pro-ness of my photo taking.

Picture from Swarovski website:

Swarovski Snowflake

Picture I took:

photo 2 (2)

Last but not least, my two younger brothers

We went shopping the other day and I told myself that whatever they buy today would be their Christmas present. Qi Lin only bought a tee but Qi An bought 3 items from Topman and ZARA ($200+). No photos cos they wore them already. Haha.

I guess seeing their faces light up when they get something they like is something money cannot buy (lol, pun intended). Hopefully, you went out and made some important people in your life happier this year; if not, there’s always next year + birthday + Fathers’ Day + Mothers’ Day + Brothers’ Day + Valentine’s Day……..