Last year, while choking down a totally soul-less reunion dinner at a Chinese Restaurant somewhere in Kepong, I pledged that never again will we submit to the commercialisation of the Lunar New Year. And cut to a year later, Mae and I are in the midst of preparing to host this year's Reunion.
And for the last couple of weeks, all we have been doing is shop, shop and shop. Mini-markets, wet markets, supermarkets and hypermarkets. If there were such a thing as Ultramarkets, we'd have been there too. I have a newfound respect for my Mom who's been doing this year after year after year.
It's crowded everywhere. Everyone's buying stuff and the market folks are making a killing.
Large prawns are RM76 per kilo. That was last week. This week, I'm sure we'll by paying close to RM90. My colleague, Evelyne, buys her prawns 2 months in advance. She cuts them, cleans them, puts them in a container immersed in water and sprinkled with a pinch of sugar and freezes the whole ensemble. That apparently keeps the damned things fresh and springy come New Year's Eve. And she should know, since her family's in the F&B business. But Evil Evelyne decides to share this knowledge only now. So yeah. Evelyne sucks. Heh. Anyway, I'm getting my prawns from Tesco or Giant where it'll be half that price.
Arrowheads, or Nga Ku, is being sold at 36 sen per 100 gms (I think) at the Tmn Megah Market. Giant sells it at 26 sen. And if anyone tells you, "Nah, Giant's arrowheads are not fresh," slap them in the face. Cos it's the same thing. They even come in the same white cardboard boxes. And with that, I've officially joined the Auntie Club of Wet Marketing. You'll know you're a bona-fide member of the club, when you find yourself hanging around and joining in the banter between the likes of the fish guy, the veggie lady and auntie from SS2.
As for the Reunion Dinner, I'm trying to get everyone to hang out at the house from afternoon onwards - to help prepare the food, cos that's half the fun. But knowing the lazy people that I grew up with, they'll probably arrive just in time for dinner.
Maybe I'll spike the dinner. Heh.