This new year has been a very different experience in some ways compared to the previous new years. Of course, it's still essentially the same, but at the same time it feels... different.
First off, like many people, this new year felt really short. Normally during CNY I would be able to relax and read, or sleep, or even play some board or card games. This year, I found myself busy helping out with the preparations, as well as with other things like entertaining relatives. I barely read any of the 5 books I brought along with me, and only managed to play a round or two on Vocable, a word board game.
Then, I also had a bad stomach reaction which I have no idea what it was caused by. But it had given me several days of eating less before culminating in stomach cramps.
Not to mention, I realised that I had not become an uncle just last year as previously thought; I actually became one about 8 or 9 years ago. You see, my mother's family is extremely huge, like one of those families who can have reunions with more than 100 family members. Apparently, some of my cousins (my granduncle's grandchildren) are about 40 years old. I always knew that I have a huge family on my mum's side, but it was just hard to comprehend until now.
But one of the highlights has got to be listening to my grandfather's stories of his youth. Apparently he was a pretty rebellious kid. But his memory of his youth is extremely intact- he did talk about World War II and the Emergency period as well. The proof of his memory lies in a photograph that he received a few years back. He claimed that he was only 11 in the picture, but no one else believed him (even yours truly) because he looked about 16 at the very least (most thought he was about 20). But this trip back, I removed it from its frame and compared the date it was taken with the year he was born. And lo and behold, he really was 11!
But it has been a satisfying Chinese New Year nonetheless.