Monday, February 19, 2007

Tahun Babi

I haven’t been writing for a while. Not that there wasn’t anything to say or I was too busy. It’s just I realize some things are best left unsaid.

It’s been the usual Chinese New Year. My relatives from my father’s side came over on the eve and everyone brought a dish for the pot luck dinner. I’m rather lucky they do it at my house as I get to hide in my room once it gets a little too hectic. I can see some of my cousins dozing of on my couch or looking bored.

Everyone was watching the video I shot at my grandmother’s 80th birthday last month. My grandmother kept watching it over and over again last night. Everyone had a good laugh watching themselves. I guest I’m jaded when it comes to watching stuff on TV, too used to it.

Today, the whole clan came over again today for lunch. I woke up really late, at 11:30AM and I could hear people arriving already outside my room. I was watching a DVD last night so I slept really late. I jumped into the shower and when I came out, everyone was discussing about lunch. I think there was a problem with the logistics, because there was a miscommunication about the food. Looks like no one brought the lunch and in the end we ended up eating last night’s leftover. My aunt brought over 4 boxes of pizza but by the time, everyone was done eating already.

Everyone else settled down to a game of cards. I don’t gamble or drink alcohol so I wandered of to my room. I took a nap and by the time I woke up, everyone was gone already. I like celebrating my Chinese New Year like that… sleeping. Its about the only time I get to rest.

As I said before, I don’t talk to my relatives that much. I find it hard to open up and share my life with them, or with anyone else for that matter. Today my uncle asked if I had any superglue. I ransacked my toolbox but only found glue for rubber & plastic. I asked them what the glue was for and they said it was for her shoe that came apart… ah, the perfect glue to use. My mother wasn’t too pleased I was fixing her shoe and I got another angpow for my uncle.

I’m not overtly superstitious about things like this. I only respect tradition only to please my parents and those around me. However, I do go against tradition if its against practicality. For instance, fixing my cousin’s shoe. I had giving her the glue, she might have ended up gluing herself to the shoe. Better I do it instead.

This year, no one wants to mention it’s the year of the pig on TV in Malay. The pig is so offensive, it’s a taboo word for most Muslims. Now here’s a fact you can run away, the pig is an integral part of the Chinese culture (though, I must say its not an important part of the Buddhist world). When they have an animal sign named after an animal 50% of the Malaysian population find in disgust, it’s a huge dilemma. I wonder how broadcasters handled this problem 12 years ago (an animal sign is rotated every 12 years).

What we do now is we just mention its Chinese New Year and we don’t specifically mention it’s the year of the pig. However, I do relish wishing my friends “selamat tahun babi” just to see their reaction.

I remember the dialog between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction about pigs. I looked it up on the internet and found this:

Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No man, I don't eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.
Vincent: Why not? Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals. Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got enough sense enough to disregard its own faeces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charmin' motherfuckin' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?

I always remember John Travolta saying “Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.” Everytime someone tells me I shouldn’t eat pork, I say that line with a little modification, “Bah Kut Teh taste gooood. Char Siew taste gooood”. Anyway, haven’t been eating much pork lately, all these fear of chemicals in it has turn me of plus there’s just too much fat in the pork I eat.

Selamat Tahun Babi kepada semua orang!

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