the weather cooperated and was beautiful, crisp, sparkly, fluffy and all manner of ingratiating in an obscenely obvious ploy to make us miss winter. almost worked, but getting back here last night to plus 7C broke the spell immediately. as did the cellular-level knowledge that the motherfucker lasts till late may.
christmas chez la famille was lovely and warm. vast quantities of beet and cabbage-based foods were consumed resulting in week-long bloating and other unsavoury side-effects. for two weeks each night but one, i drank a bottle of wine or thereabouts and stayed up way too late. one night we were fed a homemade korean feast of 16 courses that was unbelievably delicious. on another night we ordered in malaysian, being far too drunk to either cook or walk anywhere. on yet another night we were treated to multiple courses of chinese food brought out on platters for what seemed like hours. lobsters in cream sauce featured prominently. overall things were good.
my parents were in town which added to the experience. much fun was had but the holiday was punctuated by several moments of ridiculous and entirely pointless tension. at one point my mother (mortally offended by what, exactly?) stood up from the table and went to her room in a restrained version of herself circa 1962. there were occasional recriminations, pouting, snappy words and eventual peace. i love them people, but they sure is exhausting. perhaps living closer to each other would be the answer - less stress in the occasional drop-in tea than a week long festival of familial quality time.
i did no christmas shopping, and no boxing day shopping. in fact other than chauffeuring the mother and the aunt on a shopping trip one day, i did not set foot in a shop the whole two weeks and it was glorious.
the low point came when i noticed a disturbing trend in the media - celebrating the end of the decade. what the fuck? has the world sunk so low that it can no longer even count to ten? i kept bringing up the example of the fingers (1-10, not 0-9) but it did little good. newspapers tripped over themselves publishing "best of the decade" lists which, i am sorry, feels just wrong in 2009. while i do realise that the whole thing started when ignorant people celebrated the new millennium in 2000, instead of in 2001 when it actually mathematically began, on account of 2000 being a far sexier and rounder and curvier number and all, i find it hard to stomach celebrating a decade (there's a ten in that word, look it up) in 2009. one day, perhaps, i shall make peace with ubiquitous human stupidity, but for now i shall continue waving my stick at windmills. i cannot help myself.
it was good to see some old friends, sad to have missed seeing others, and absolutely gratifying to see that the man i chose to marry is the one person i don't mind spending extended time with. for the next several weeks i want to see no one, speak to no one and have no social life whatsoever. after i emerge from hibernation refreshed and glowing, i will call you and we can go have a drink.
we took a half-hour car ride, 1.5 hour plane ride, half hour train ride, half hour bus ride, 1.5 hour ferry ride and a 15 minute cab ride to get home last night. all because i was too cheap to buy the more expensive tickets closer to home. all this would have been fine if it wasn't for the arse-numbingly vast quantities of luggage we were carrying. i swear, we looked like those people, you know the ones i mean - three day weekend and they bring a goddamn steamer trunk. aside from the vast loads of laundry i still don't know what was in there. other than mister monkey's beloved saucepan, the hunt for which was the joy of his season.
and so we return to the normalcy of island life.