An English Chinese New Year

by Alison L.

Today has been quite the adventure. I don’t know, if you had talked to me last year and told me that today’s events would happen to me one day, I would have thought you were a little nuts because there’s no way my life could be this bizarre and in a way…kind of fun.

Okay, so first of all, it’s the year of the snake tomorrow! And normally if I wasn’t at boarding school, I’d be in Malaysia with my grandparents and aunt and eating amazing cookies and ice cream all hand made by my aunt as well as all the amazing chinese food that my grandmother would cook. Then, on Chinese New Year, the next day, my sister and I would always wake up to find red packets under out pillow that were given to by the Chinese New Year Dragon. Then, we would change and go bai nian, wish all our family a happy new year and then sit down for the most amazing breakfast that my aunt and grandmother would have prepared with of course, my favourite sweet quail egg soup. Then, the married couples, so my parents and my grandparents would proceed to give us hong bao, which is money packeted in red paper pockets mostly decorated with gold pictures or any kind of new year related photos on the front. Then, we would go to my grandmother’s holiday house to see all my other malaysian relatives, whom I see only once a year to wish them a happy new year and eat some lunch together and get some hong bao in the process.

Well, in England, this didn’t happen which made me a little sad because I’ve never, not for a single year in my life spent New Year’s alone. But then, all my best friends who are Chinese must have been feeling the same way too so we decided to have a Chinese New Year party by  ourselves and it was great.

But here’s where it gets interesting. After we agreed on the time and what to order and stuff, I went back to doing my chemistry Internal Assessment (You’ll understand what this is if you do IB) and I just didn’t know how to do something so what I did was text my friend, Harry for help. I really did try and figure it out myself but just ended up plotting everything against everything. So, he invited me to his House, the Talbot and he could help me. Okay, I’ve never been to the Talbot but I heard it’s the nicest house in the whole school but part of me was like, what if this is really awkward. But it shouldn’t be because guys come to our house all the time! So, when I really couldn’t figure out my chemistry, I decided to just suck it up and go.

So along the way he texted me directions and as I neared the house, I thought I was going to explode. It was so unfair! Looking up, I could see a towering manor with pillars on the outside, lights glimmering and as I walked past it, there were glass panels and in between the manors, one of them the Beresford House and the other the Talbot, was a mini dining hall, illuminated by lights that lined the edges of the glass panels. Then, I went into the snooker room, which had 3 keyboards and 1 piano, none of which were out of tune like the 1 at my House. Then, we sat down and chatted a little while doing some chemistry.

Then, guess who came in. None other than my maths teacher. I knew that he was the Housemaster of the Talbot but I didn’t expect him to stick his face into the snooker room. It was hilarious. I swear he looks shorter in sports kit. Anyway, on came some of the best banter. So, earlier before, Harry and I had agreed that if anyone asked us we were cousins. So, when Mr. White came in, I didn’t know it was him but when the room was still silent as it wouldn’t be if a normal guy had walked into the snooker room, I looked up and saw him trying to process the fact that I was there.

Then, he was like “What are you doing here?” and it took me a little longer than it should to formulate an answer in my head so he just went “Did you sign in?” and Harry, probably sensing my ineptitude to answering questions decided to answer for me and say “yes and she can be here. It’s the snooker room. It’s public.”. And at that point I just decided to say, mumbling, that I was his cousin. Because I’m smart like that.

And then, the most incredulous, surprised and then finally amused, expression crossed Mr. White’s face and he was like, “Really?” And I was like, “No, sir!” 

“What? It’s possible! Did you know each other before?”

“What in Hong Kong?”

“Yeah.”

No.”

Lucky you.”

“What, that I hadn’t met him before?”

“Yep.”

At which point Harry pipes in, going, “Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh sir?”

And I just started laughing. I have no idea why anyone reading this would be interested or find this just as amusing as me but yeah. It was great. And the Talbot rooms are huge, at least in relation to ours. And Mr. White is so much chiller than my house mistress. She’s kind of annoying and a bit too uptight and gossips a bit too much. God seriously help me if anyone from school finds this blog because I’m not very discreet with names but oh well. I’ll just go change my name or something on wordpress. Anyway, I wanted to stay at the Talbot forever!! It was so nice! But then, the time came for me to leave as food had arrived. So, unfortunately, I had to leave the nicest house ever and trudge back to Apsley.

But then, there were my friends waiting for me with Chinese food and I almost forgot about the Talbot. The guys made mango dessert:

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And it overall was a great night together

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Plus, I managed to finish my chemistry!

新年快樂!

Until tomorrow,

A.

PS: Check out my song of the day here. It’s a Chinese special 😉

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