Sunday, December 30, 2007

Little Surprise

Christmas is over! Yay! Frankly, it was tiring to catch up with family. Apart from one hour journey, to make conversation with cousins, uncle, and aunts can be hard. Of course it's always easy if you get along with them. But if you don't, it could be unbearably difficult. Sometimes you have one or two people in the family who are up themselves, thinking that they are fuckin' fabulous and should therefore be modeled. If they are not talking about themselves, they will brag about their kids. Anyway it's over now and time to move on! The novelty of listening to John Butler Trio's new album can surely remind me that there is a little joy at least in Christmas!

After finished working, i decided to drop by at the Asian groceries in the city. I need some spices and bottled chili sauce. The supermarket is great. It has a good varieties of Asian stuffs. Only the design is the downside of it. The shelves are build too high as high as those shelves in the state library. I thought it is funny to think that Asians are not known for having a big figure. Their average heights are not more than 160 cm.

When I walked between two tall shelves of drinks, my eyes caught a blue bottle sitting nicely in RTD (Ready To Drink) shelf where dozens of Japanese rice wine are stored. The drink is called "Tsunami" and what's more is the words underneath the name: "Big Wave of Flavour". First reaction was only smile as i could not think of any response. Strangely, the day i found this drink coincided with the date when Tsunami took place several years ago. It was Boxing Day. I am not sure what is the connection of the date when Tsunami happened and my unexpected encounter with this drink. I will leave this to clairvoyance as i don't like taking others peoples jobs. So i took one and walked to the counter.

Some might say that any moment can be interpreted as texts and reading that texts could lead us to various meaning. For hundred of thousands survivors, the disastrous wave does not have any exciting flavour but desperation, grim, grief, poignancy which stay at their life. That's perhaps what they think about the Tsunami. But for this South Australia based company which produces this drink, the meaning of tsunami is twisted, this sparkling lychee flavoured supposedly is offering a great challenge to your palate. Fear and anguish will not wash you away as the wave does. But only a great wave of flavour will as the message tries to say. Convincingly!

Tonight, the whole world will celebrate the arrival of the new year. As celebration is often associated with alcohol, this drink, if it still available, may be a good company to jazz the night up.

Anyway, i'd like to wrap this up by wishing everyone happy new year and all the best! I hope you will get a big wave of excitement and luck!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All about X-mas

“Have you done Christmas shopping yet?”, asked my friend. “No, I haven’t”. Then she sighed, “I have to do it this Friday, otherwise I won’t be able to get any presents”. Weeks before Christmas are always hectic. The town has been very busy. More people are coming down to the main town. They are flocking to department stores, crowding the bookshops, or going into electronic shops. They know that this time of year is not usual as any other time. It’s Christmas! Traditionally people have to buy presents for families and sometimes other relatives. Without presents, celebration is not complete and it may lessen the joy that Christmas should bring. Many people, of course, are aware of this and they therefore start to make a list in few weeks advance. Yet, it’s not always easy to make the list. Every one dealing with this presents-business will know that. To get presents is such a mission. It can be difficult as rescuing some backpackers who are trapped in the jungle. We have to jostle around in the shopping centre and have to be quick. Otherwise you might find empty shelfs!

Once the list is done, another problem that needs to be sorted is food. Christmas is all about big feast! What should we cook? Roast might be good but seafood is a great temptation for summer weather. Every festive season should involve food and beverage. And during Christmas food and beverage can not be neglected. Some might put aside traditional roast turkey and Christmas pudding as they are now sort of foods in a special package of Christmas function. If decision on what should be put on the table is made, then that’s enough. Do not ever worry if at the end we realise that we’ve cooked too much food. Again this is festive season, the next morning some family members who are hangover may be still having this festive spirit, at least the eating spirit. Of course, the kitchen business seems to less, if any, bother some men in the family. It’s always been mothers’ problem.

I spoke to my mum the other day about how people get stressed during Christmas in Australia. Her response surprised me. She was shocked to know that in a joyful moment like Christmas people get easily stressed. Sometimes I thought she is right. Stressfulness should not burden people during Christmas. But I reminded her that she always got uptight during Christmas although she doesn’t need to walk around the city to buy presents. She is worried about what she’d like to cook. I told her that in AustraliaChristmas is a big thing. It’s bigger than election.

In my country, we normally don’t give presents during Christmas-albeit some may give presents to others. Usually, my mum will cook up some lovely food then pack them in bowls and plates then send them to neighbours who don’t celebrate Christmas. There are coconut-milk-based curry, rice, and some other foods. Not all people doing this tradition, but my mum thought it’s always nice to do this as it strengthens the relation between neighbours. We always get some food from our Muslim neighbours when the biggest Muslim day is on. On Christmas day, we usually go to the church then get together at the oldest family member. In this case, my mum and dad are the eldest. So all family will hang out at my place.

It’s been five years I have to miss out this food-exchange ritual. I’ve got another tradition instead: buying presents for friends and others. Honestly this tradition makes me think that Christmas is all about stress. Oh no next month is Christmas! How much it’s gonna cost me?

In spite of the stressfulness that Christmas may bring, at the end people will have a merry and lovely Christmas: gathering together with the family, sharing the wonderful moment together.