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Monday, January 30, 2006

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Today is the second day of the lunar new year. The other night, my mom read me my fortune for this year. The Year of the Dog seems promising for me, (I was born in the Year of the Tiger), both professionally and personally. On the professional front, there seems to be a lot of opportunity for successful new sales and new business prospects (there are several in the works right now so maybe there’s some truth to this!). On the personal level, there is the strong possibility of a “new addition to the family” (and since Jojo and I are not planning on getting a dog, that could only mean one thing ….). Naturally, I’m very excited by both predictions!

And to usher in all the good tidings, my mom shared several other things we needed to do, which of course Jojo and I just had to make sure we did. First, was to wear new underwear on New Year’s Eve. Since we had some friends over most of Saturday we couldn’t go underwear shopping, so Jojo and I had to make a quick stop at K-Mart to get some new ones! SIDE NOTE: while at K-Mart, we were asked to join a demonstration for a new product and we were promised free gifts afterwards if we participated in the test group. Since I love getting free stuff, I convinced my hubby to participate, and we became part of this test group for a super absorbent, German-made, cloth that was designed to take the place of those chamois-type cloths we use to wash our cars. Actually the cloth was pretty amazing and could absorb large amounts of spilled liquids (water, Coke, and coffee). It could even be used to dry clothes (by wrapping it around wet clothes and squeezing it). The best part was it could be re-used many times and tossed in the washer when it got dirty (which was the problem with the chamois cloth). Anyway, some 30 minutes later, we left K-Mart with our new underwear, and our “gifts” - two bags of the super absorbent cloth and a new kitchen mop.

The second thing we had to do for good luck was to prepare 8 gold coins and 8 chocolate gold coins in a bowl, cover with uncooked rice, and top with 8 gold coins, 8 chocolate gold coins and any kind of gold figurine. This was slightly tougher to do. First of all we did not have any gold coins and had to resort to using copper pennies. I tried to find the shiniest ones hoping they would pass for gold. Next we scoured Asian stores trying to find those chocolate gold coins. No luck at Ranch 99 (Chinese supermarket), Mitsue (Japanese), California supermarket (Korean), and Marukai (Japanese discount store). We didn’t have time to go to Chinatown and were going to settle for leftover Xmas candies shaped like coins wrapped in gold foil but with Santa Claus’ face stamped on each one. Luckily my SIL calls and says there are chocolate gold coins at Walgreens (who would have thought!?). So at 10:00 pm, dressed in our sweats and coats, Jojo and I make a run for chocolate gold coins. We get home and prepare our bowl and top it off with gold-colored figurines of a horse, pineapple, and the pa-qua (octagon-shaped disk with a mirror in the middle).

Third thing we had to do was to eat lucky food on new year’s day. So, together with my brother, Jules, we headed for China Tea House on Sepulveda and had noodles, fish and oranges for lunch. Incidentally, this was our first time at China Tea House, but a good friend of mine has recommended this place numerous times. The ambience of the place was nothing to rave about – it was crowded, noisy, everyone seemed to be walking around, and the cleanliness of the place was quite suspect. We had to wait about half an hour for a table and were just about ready to turn around and leave when we were finally seated at a table by the front door. Since it was past 1 and we were hungry, we decided to stay and I’m glad we did. At around 1:30 (when the lunch crowd had thinned, our servers were actually quite friendly and even gave us complimentary drinks – fizzy pink lemonades – for waiting so long). We each had a bowl of corn soup and then we ordered the House Special Chow Mein (our noodle dish), it was very good with lots of shrimp, scallops, BBQ pork, chicken and vegetables. We had the rock cod with black bean sauce (our fish dish), which was slightly salty (because of the black beans) but went nicely with the sweet red and green peppers it was stir-fried with. Our last dish was half a roasted duck with plum sauce (not one of the lucky foods, but we felt like having it anyway). The duck was fatty but delicious, the skin was crispy and the meat was tender and flavorful (you didn’t even need the plum sauce). For dessert, we had slices of mandarin orange and fortune cookies.

It will be interesting to see how this year turns out for us. Hopefully all our preparations for receiving good fortune pays off. Otherwise, I’m blaming it on the fact that we used copper pennies and not gold coins!

Happy Year of the Dog everyone!


jol said...

Fengshui is slowly gaining popularity in the West. It does not hurt to observe fengshui activities to increase one's chances of good fortune. But remember that only good will beget good; good deeds bring luck to the doer.

Sareet said...

You are so much better about that kind of stuff than I am. I completely forgot about it and had to be reminded by my mom to call everyone!!!