So, the Year of the Monkey is upon us. It’s not been the greatest start to the year in macro terms, but I’ll write another post about that. Maybe. We had five holidays in a row (including the weekend) and the kids are of school for the whole week, so many people go out of town. Of course, us being us, we stayed put. However, having kids has really brought out the festival for me, because I do things that I might not have bothered to do.

We got an early start to the festivities with a beautifully choreographed lion dance at the design institute next door. After the professional adult performance, there was a performance by two little kids. The discipline and dexterity of the older kid, who did the steps so carefully, was amazing. Have I mentioned I’m a totally fan of lion dances? I can never see too many of them.

The kids had their Chinese New Year concert at school, in which a concert on the legend of the Chinese zodiac was staged. Nene was the tiger, and Mimi was supposed to be the tail of the lion in the lion dance that preceded the play, but unbeknowest to me, she switched with her classmate, and turned out to be the horse instead. I think the school did send the play script home with the change, but I didn’t bother to look at it, because as far as I knew my kids didn’t have any lines. Yeah, I’m not getting the Mom of the Year Award.

On the first day of the holidays we took the kids to the Chinese New Year Market. There’s usually a huge one in Victoria Park, where people go to by flowers and all sorts of knick knacks, but we found one in our district that is smaller and more manageable. We bought the kids pinwheels, and it’s possible that I had more fun watching them run around with them than anyone else.

The next day we had a catch up wtih a big group of friends over dinner. It was fun.

Mimi had been having the worst cough at night, so she woke up rather late The next day.  Nene, V and I took a walk up the mountain near our house where I noticed to my surprise that guerrilla farmers had been planting fruits and veggies up there.

There are not one, but two carnivals in town at the moment. We took the kids to the AIA carnival in Central, and they had fun. The carnival is free entry till February end, but each ride costs about 40$ in tokens so it’s hardly a cheap outing. It was a bit of a struggle getting the kids to understand that no, we cannot go on unlimited rides this time.

Then we took them to the rooftop of IFC where we had an impromptu picnic with some very good  food we picked up from Open Kitchen (finally, a chi chi place that delivers). Of course, there was a fountain and they had to put their hands into the freezing water.

The second day of the New Year is the date of the amazing fireworks display. While schlepping across town to brave the cards for it was not part of my plan, I did wonder whether we could catch a glimpse from the mall at the next station. In the end, we didn’t find out. The kids played arcade games and we came home instead.

As you would expect, monkey decor is ubiquitous.


Finished off our New Year break with a lovely family lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. For once, the kids were peaceful and entertained themselves with the crayons and sheets provided. Instead of two pizzas, we had one pizza and two desserts. A sweet start to the year.