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Debbie’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 20 Feb 2007

Location: Singapore

MapWell, its the last day of the Chinese New Year holidays in Singapore! Two New Year celebrations in one year is quite strange I tell you, albeit, one was a bit heavier on the alcohol consumption - no guesses which one.... Honestly, I have never seen Singapore so quiet....the shops actually CLOSE DOWN which totally spins me out in the land of 'shop shop'...and even the construction sites were a non event yesterday - this is BIG, considering I see them usually late at night welding (even in the rain) etc etc

It is actually a good time to visit as weather quite nice and also again, as with most holidays, all the expats have vacated the island for a break elsewhere in the world.....(a concept I haven't fully understood yet, but its definitely the 'in thing' to do). In usual Singapore style all the streets, malls, everywhere is dressed up to celebrate. They really do a great job decorating. There are these trees everywhere with little cumquat looking mandarin fruits on them which look great, but man are these things SOUR! And they look so cute and sweet!! I asked the Guard at our Condo what the significance was and he replied ' not sure'....hmmm, so I asked my singaporean friends who said it was the colour (gold) of the fruits which is the tradition, not the fruit itself. There you go...Pussy Willow and the colour RED is also a big decoration and from what I understand they have a reunion dinner with their families at the beginning of the holidays and then spend the rest of the holiday visiting relatives in the hope of receiving packets of money in exchange for a couple of mandarins!! (As long as you have been a good person all year that is). Great concept (although a bit scarey being good all year), no wonder they look forward to it. However, I have heard the words from my sing friends...exhausting, tiring, too much to do, it use to be not so full on etc alot....Oh and they eat lots of biscuits (some look worthy) & drink lots of tea. Plenty of other goodies on offer also which I am sure are very nice and edible....but not for me...

So this lunar year is the Year of the Golden Pig......I understand from the media hype its the year to have babies because they will be blessed with good fortune, wealth, yada yada all that good stuff. Humie is a Pig. Hopefully all the above will come his way always. I don't know alot about horoscopes etc but in our house we have a Pig, Rabbit and Tiger.....interesting combination? no prizes for guessing who the fluffy cuddly one is!

So to end the CNY celebrations we had the mandatory Dragon Dance at our condo this morning.......they must be so HOT in their outfits.....but they did a great job entertaining those in the crowd, few kiddies crying and lots of drum noise....Bad luck if you wanted to sleep in! Overall, it was nice to be here and feel the traditional celebrations being soaked up by the locals and kept alive........