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My first French Christmas

On Christmas morning, I woke up to a video of my adorable niece sent by my brother, saying “Ho, ho, ho, mehwy chwistmas”.

It had been a very merry Christmas indeed, and my first experiencing it the French way. My own family doesn’t celebrate Christmas per se, but for one that loves to cook and to eat, it does mean three festive meals (we start with a good Irish roast, followed by a Chinese steamboat, and finally Korean barbecue) with mere few hours break in between. That’s a lot of eating in a single day.

The celebration in France is bound to be different, and in fact, my belle famille doesn’t buy into the overlong meal with extravagant dish after dish in one seating. Instead, we get to spread the feast over two days. A satisfying Christmas eve dinner and a boisterous Christmas day lunch makes the whole experience much more manageable, and I did enjoy my meals a lot more. (Here they are, in pictures.)

Christmas meal

Christmas meal

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Happy be one!

Happy birthday Elise!

The little girl

This little girl turns one today.

Missing her very much!

Unfortunately she’s about 5 hours – an RER trip, a flight, and a bus ride – away; else I would be throwing her a grand good party to celebrate her first birthday! I trust her parents to do a good job of it nonetheless, so will be waiting for photos and videos to come my way soon.

Yo bro, do you hear me? ;)

Playing tourist, family-style

It has been a well-charged fortnight with one visitor after another (it’s like we’re running a B&B, but free!) and this week, it’s time for a little family vacation. With my brothers and I living in different countries, a get-together for all of us has never been easy. We’d be so lucky if we manage to all be in the same place together once a year for a few days. Even more precious is when we could squeeze in a rare holiday within this period of time. They are in town to visit and I, for one, am very very happy!

While I’ve always maintain the philosophy of playing tourist on a regular basis – you know, visits to various (lesser-known) museums and walking tours to explore different neighbourhoods – this time, we’re talking the major sights. We’re even talking chez Mickey! Ultimately, our schedule will be dictated by a toddler, otherwise known as my adorable niece. Lucky girl gets to visit Paris at 8 months old!

For now, as time is precious, I’m just going to share this one photo which I adore. Beejay took a series of these by stealth when I offered to hold Elise while her parents worked on snapping some holiday shots. I normally shy away from the camera and prefer to stay behind the lenses, but this works out really well and I think this photo will be printed very soon for safekeeping.

I’ll be back in a few days with more posts (accck all the drafts sitting there which I really really should get out!) and till then, have a wonderful week. :D

TAR in Penang

The Amazing Race took off to Penang, Malaysia in its latest instalment, challenging the racers a) in the Detours to either carry a dozen of giant joss sticks (“Buddhist Tradition”) to the top of a temple or balancing chingay flags across a certain distance (“Chinese Custom”), and b) in the Roadblock to prepare a Hindu offering.

Here’s a video if you’ve missed the airing on Sunday night.

The pitstop of the race is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a beautiful heritage mansion that houses antiques and collectibles associated with the culture and custom of the Peranakans.

In a couple of months time, I’ll be heading to Penang where one of my brothers lives. I must make this one of the places to see. Afterall, our greatgrandmother was originally from Penang and she was a Peranakan too. It’s high time for me to take a deeper look into part of my heritage, which I should have learned while she was alive. However, being young and naive then, I didn’t appreciate just how much I would have missed out by failing to take an interest in it.

It is definitely time to catch up.

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