Friday, February 08, 2008

Second day

(09/02/2008) Yes, I do realise it is now the third day of Chinese New Year, but editing and putting up photos are such chores when you're surrounded by fireworks, movies you haven't seen yet, and exotic snacks.

Written on Tuesday, 29 January 2008

I started the day with freshly cut papaya for breakfast,

and played with my aunt's very cute dog, San-san.

Poor San-san's nose looks a little sunburnt!

I'm glad to report that I've found a nice selection of Engrish, and a few novel sights, to brighten everyone's day.

Here's a sign from the plane. My brother pointed it out to me. He liked the arrow showing the suitcase bouncing off the guy's head.

Everyone's gearing up for Chinese New Year.

Selling Chinese New Year decorations and lucky plants. The large decorations hanging up on the left are giant knots. They're probably lucky too.

Also on sale are boxes and boxes of mandarins to eat and take to "open house" visits. Kam, the dialect word for "orange", also sounds like "gold". We do like our gold.

Thousands of mandarin oranges are consumed at this time of year. I like them too. Easy to peel.

Every year, this luxury car dealership has the best Chinese New Year decorations in town.

Let's see, one mouse is resting on a pile of gold ingots and the another is, um, riding a golden carp. Mmm, gold.

Carp are considered lucky fish, and the word for "fish", yu, in Mandarin, sounds the same as the word for "surplus" or "abundance".


This was an intriguing sign I saw on the way to lunch:

A brand of toothpaste I haven't seen before. I thought the name was funny:

I was halfway tempted to buy these, but I knew they'd never live up to the mini-burgers in my imagination.

Once again, a luxury car manufacturer makes my day.

Lexus biscuits!

Oh John, the memory of our love will be ... indelible.

Who knew Hello Kitty could be so eloquent?

I liked how bright and exciting all the bags of washing detergent looked. Those Asian marketers have my dollar!

No piddly 1kg boxes here. Detergent is sold in 3kg and 5kg bags. 5kg of washing powder for under AUD$5!

Ladies--just, no. No, no, no, no.


Chinese New Year outfits for the kids. My siblings and I have all suffered this indignity in our time.

I think it's only fair that the kids of today get to experience it too. Humiliation builds character, right? Well, character and sociopaths.

A famous clock in the town centre.

The old clock, dating from the turn of the last century, or at least for as long as I can remember, looked exactly like this one. It finally died, and was replaced it with a new, fancy time-keeping device. Everyone complained, so they put up an exact replica of the old one again. I'll bet that's not the story they tell on the plaque though.

Ice-cream flavours you will never see in an Australian supermarket.

Yam. Deliciously purple!

Durian! I know it's an unusual flavour, but it's one of my favourites.

Corn. Meh.

Honeydew. I haven't tried this one yet.

"Potong" are an old-fashioned type of ice-cream that used to be sold by street vendors in a cart. Red bean ice-cream was made in large blocks and cut into rectangular chunks. Potong is a Malay word meaning "slice" or "cut". Maybe I'll have one of these for breakfast tomorrow. (You can tell I'm in holiday mode, can't you?)

The flavours in this box are red bean, black sticky rice, and coconut.

P.S. I got told off by my cousin C (who reads my blog but never comments, hem-hem) for calling her mother a crazy aunt. C, dearest, I caught my mother (who is desperate for grandkids) singing to the rabbit the other day, so feel free to throw the stone back at this glass house :)


Anonymous said...

man i love engrish.

man i love red bean ice cream. it's super expensive here (well like twice the cost of regular flavours like vanilla and chocolate) so i made sure to point it out to my boyfriend in advance so he can get me some for valentine's day. :D

Blandwagon said...

What is it with the Chinese and luck? With all this slavish pursuit of lucky numbers and colours and knots and mandarins and plants, you'd think China would be crammed with lottery winners and sole survivors of airplane crashes.

I think there must be the luck equivalent of an arms race going on. You can become lucky, but if your neighbour becomes luckier, it cancels out your luck. You need bigger, more devastating luck to destroy him.

Juliness said...

Those pictures are incredible! I am so glad you posted them. I find your trip fascinating and am thrilled you get all these wonderful experiences...and that you are willing to share with us.