Tan Family: Chinese New Year Rush

Chinese New Year spring cleaning
15 January 2020

It is so difficult to start on a blog post in the middle of a clogged-up schedule. On one hand, dad is yelling “Finish off your blog post now! Need your help around the house!” just as I sit down to start on my blog post, and on the other hand, mom is calling “Come down for tea!” and I rush off, after switching off the table lamp I had just turned on seconds ago, with only half a paragraph completed and the standing fan’s blades still slowing down its spinning behind me. The fan is rusty, but so am I.

Earlier this Saturday morning, dad and I had gone out to a mall to do some grocery shopping. Mom and younger brother Darryl had left for my former secondary school for a PIBG meeting and Majlis Anugerah Cemerlang (Academic Award Ceremony) for students who did well in PT3 last year. Dad and I got some Good Morning towels from Aeon, a gas lighter for the kitchen stove from Mr DIY, and a carton of XL sized oranges, some canned soft drinks and 5 packets of peanuts at the supermarket. We pushed the trolleys down to the carpark and dumped everything in the car boot. “I’m hungry,” declared dad, and we went to Subway. “Think,” ordered dad, and we sat in silence, planning logistics for the near future, as we munched on tuna sandwiches.

“Hmm,” said dad, when we had sek bao (‘eaten until full’ in Cantonese). “I want my curry puffs today. Go get them.” We laughed, recalling how we didn’t manage to buy puffs with curry potato filings yesterday, until Darryl had to get kaya puffs. It was terribly bland, and we were not used to eating the exact same crunchy puffs, but with kaya inside instead. I went to the small stall and bought three curry puffs for tea.

Long awaited curry puffs
18 Jan 2020

It has been a very busy week, what with Chinese New Year approaching, and not having to go to school in January for the first time in twelve years. It’s peculiar, helping out more around the house this year while my brother continues his studies in form 4. On Wednesday, I had cleared my study table and wiped it clean; on Thursday, I had helped my father touch up some black portions of the ceilings all over the house with white paint. I regret not taking any photos of that, as I had stood in the most precarious positions possible. When painting the ceiling above our piano, I had one leg on the third rung of a ladder, the other leg on a thin banister railing; when painting the ceiling half concealed by the kitchen cabinets, I stood with half my feet dangling off the edge of the kitchen counter, accidentally burning my knees on the still-heated microwave handle; and I had to stop myself from pulling away quickly, or I would fall off the counter. I was sweating all over, and white paint was strewn across my shirt. The above photo of me standing on my study table and wiping the thick layer of dust is, honestly, a relatively relaxing moment.

My brother brought home a trophy for his excellent PT3 results today. He had obtained straight As (9As). The trophy was a brilliant blue, with a gold head and a pastel rainbow coloured background behind the CHS emblem. “Wow,” I praised. “It wasn’t that pretty for my year.”

This year, we had done our Chinese New Year shopping for new clothes a bit differently, separately for my brother and I. This is because this year, due to my brother being busy with the co-curricular responsibilities he took on, and my only two off days for my temporary full-time job, we could not easily do shopping together. We did manage to go to Pavilion together, though. The decorations are really pretty there!

Finally, we had Mcdonalds for dinner today. It was my first time having the Prosperity burger. The Prosperity burger has lots of pepper in it, so the spice of the Prosperity burger, mixed with the sweet McFlurry ice cream was simply perfect.

Mcdonalds for dinner
18 Jan 2020

It will be the eve already, this Friday, and we are all anticipating our typical schedule every new year’s eve, which will be covered in the next post! Stay tuned!


PIBG: Persatuan Ibu-Bapa Dan Guru (Parent-Teacher Association)

First Blog Post: Hello!

“Let the world be ugly, so that I will miss nothing. Or let the world be beautiful, so that I may remember.”

RAY/Rachel Tan HX, 18

Hey everyone, my name is Rachel and I am finally putting up her first blog post!

First of all, happy new year 2020! I am glad to start my blog in such an auspicious year. I made sure my first page went up on the 1st of January, I laid and checked the foundation a thousand times, I even went as far as to curate some supportive words from my family and friends…… before I finally relent today by writing this first blog post. All these are to be a stern reminder of the eyes who have witnessed the birth of Rachel’s Truth, so that I will not fall behind and give up on this blog easily 😛

As I have mentioned in my About Me section (read About The Author), I am currently working as a sales promoter at a mall nearby. Here’s a photo of a cute rat plush toy decoration at our permanent kiosk!

Rat plush toy decoration at our permanent kiosk
Credits: Rachel HuiXin (Blog Author)

Even more than a month later, I find it hard to adapt to the drastic change in atmosphere after I finished sitting for my major exam, SPM on the 27th of November, a very significant day, where we had heard screams of joy from our peers coming from the adjacent block as an examiner collected our completed Physics paper 3. The two month long exam and the wait for our supposed freedom was unbearable – I remember not being able to believe how long the wait felt. It is nothing like UPSR or PT3, where your exam is all crammed up and done in one week. SPM feeds you the sour plums in a painfully slow way, so the taste lingers on your tongue. Every time there will be a mad cram of two or three papers in a single day, then you get a few days of no exams… you are drowsy and confused, you lose track of time and forget your waking hours.

Finally, 27 November comes and you can hardly believe it! But then you remember your parents are strict, and at least in my case, an exam completed does not always lead to requests fulfilled.

What do I wish for? I love skirts, warm food on a cold day, and little pretty things that don’t cost much; but if you ask me, my greatest, most desperate yearning would probably be for new experiences. During SPM, although I was told not to get distracted, I had a tiny manual countdown to the 27th at the top of a piece of paper, with an entire list of 58 things I wanted to do below it. Out of the list, about three quarters of it began with the words “try”, “learn”, “go”, “do” and “volunteer”.

If I want to learn dancing, it is not because dancing will make me look cool, but because it will expand my social circle and improve my confidence. If I want to attend community events, it is not because I don’t like being at home with family, but because I want to see and experience new things, open my eyes to interesting and bizarre sights, and meet people from all walks of life.

My parents mostly frown upon me from doing anything that requires getting out of the house. They say my priority now should still be my future studies even if SPM is done, and I agree with that wholeheartedly; but they do not understand how very much I need all these, to enhance my confidence in interacting with other people, which will eventually bring to life the energy I require to see studying as learning. I want to learn to feel more comfortable in my own skin, which I know will also directly smoothen the tedious process of studying.

My thirst for a new experience was so strong, however, that I decided to make sure at least one came true. I managed to squeeze in some time alongside studying for SPM to scour the Indeed Job seeking app every once in a few days for a possible part-time job, and after contacting lots of people, I finally found a good prospect as a Christmas season sales promoter! The day after the final paper of my SPM was a hectic one – no time to sleep, go for outings or watch korean drama like my friends had planned – as my father rushed me to take a tour around my potential campus, and then to my first job interview, both on the very day after sitting for my final SPM paper. But it was filled with sweat and laughter – we were finally occupied with something other than preparing for exams.

For now, I feel content to spend my long awaited post-SPM freedom working as a temporary full-time sales promoter, and meeting all sorts of people as I work. There are a lot of barriers that I strive to overcome within myself everyday, and although the process is excruciatingly slow, there is progress. I am going to make the most out of my time here working with this company. My hope is that when my time with these people ends, I can still fill my time with exciting plans that will enrich myself and push past my boundaries.

What stage of life are you at? How have you been spending your time during the holidays or your sem breaks to prepare for the next stage in life, big or small? Tell me about it down below, I can’t wait to hear about it!