It seems that after all the excitement of Chinese New Year’s red underwear, Valentine’s Day is just two weeks or so away. Now, if you live in a country where sexy lingerie is not appropriate on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be looking at Chocolates, Flowers or Cards. But … and it’s a big but, they might not be such exciting gifts.
Of course, if you don’t have a boyfriend, you can always buy them for yourself, no one will care!
One of the nicest traditions in Taiwan at Chinese New Year is the Giving and Receiving of Red Envelopes, these contain money for spending on gifts or whatever the recipient decides. Compared to traditional gift giving, it may seem a little crude, but after thousands of years of giving gifts, the Chinese have narrowed it down to a fine art: give money and let the recipient decide to save it, invest it or spend it!
In fact, this tradition is also carried out at Weddings and Funerals, too. Though the envelope color changes from Red to White for Funerals. So when people marry, it’s traditional for gifts for couples (http://www.redenvelope.com/gifts-for-couples-rwcop) such as money, gold and household goods to be exchanged at that time.
No worries over gift lists, did she get the gift last time, etc.? No swapping presents? No exchanging unwanted gifts… what could be simpler than even gift certificates?
I’m terrible. I start lots of projects, and I try hard to finish as many as I can but it must be my nature not to finish stuff. I have a dozen projects that I would like to start or finish but I never seem to get things together.
The school was redecorated at Chinese New Year, and we all worked hard! But it’s been a difficult six months since then trading-wise. Still, with more time to fill, I still didn’t manage to fix the bathroom lighting that was accidentally broken by one of our co-workers with a generous swing of her mop handle. She broke the entire glass cover, one bulb, and showered herself in glass.
Luckily she wasn’t hurt, but that bathroom light needs fixed! Oh, well!
One of the interesting differences between Taiwan and the UK is the giving of gifts. In general, people just don’t give gifts at Chinese New Year, except perhaps to their parents. While this makes some aspects of the holiday season easier to deal with here, it’s quite awkward for most Brits to adopt the Chinese tradition of giving money in red envelopes (or ‘hong bao’).
So when I asked my wife about gifts for Mother’s Day, what unique gifts for her and her mother, you’ll find it easy to guess what she said: “Cash”. This is a sentiment most Chinese share: why give a present that might be useless when cash is what I can really USE?
There are occasional times when you are expected to give gifts, but if you’re not family, then cash is expected: Weddings, Anniversaries, etc. Choose an amount that ends in 6 or 8, such as $388. If it’s a funeral, then choose odd numbers, such as $500. Never choose a number with lots of ’4′s… the recipient may take offense because the character is associated with death. Similarly, never give an umbrella or a clock or watch, as these are considered unlucky, too.
Otherwise, smile, be polite, and inquire first what is expected.
One of the weirdest traditions in Taiwan (I think it’s a fairly new one!) is the wearing of red underwear at Chinese New Year. In past years, red is a popular color at Chinese New Year anyway, and people (esp. children) are encouraged to wear red.
However, in the past ten years, wearing red underwear has been more popular with panties and bras both included, for women. This year, I even saw boxer shorts for men in red. It’s getting crazier!
Typically, the red cloth is mingled with gold thread for added good fortune! Fortunately (!), the underwear is worn under… so we’re not exactly forced to see the item worn except by extremely beautiful models!
With many of us carrying extra kilos (or pounds) in the aftermath of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year, and the weather still awful… it’s tempting to look for the top diet pill to get us over the hurdle of losing a few pounds.
Even for us bloggers who spend hours sitting in a chair, it’s a very attractive option to reach out and pop a pill! But unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Popping a pill rarely offers anything other than most short-term and ineffective solution to losing unless you are prepared to change your lifestyle.
You know! I know it! The doctors know it! Worst of all, the diet pill manufacturers and sales people also know it.
After the excesses of the winter vacations and Chinese New Year, I’m sure many people are suffering and longing for a little extra good health. Ever thought of undergoing a colon cleanse? It’s one of those old-new theories of health that if you can wash it, it must be good for you.
And who’s to say it isn’t good for you…
Except I can’t help thinking this another way for a whole range of ‘specialists’ to make complex what should be rather simple: eat properly, don’t drink too much alcohol, and get exercise.
All of these will improve the function of your colon beyond any supposed cleansing benefit. And while risks are minimal of problems from the colon cleanse, there is little or no documented benefit to the patient.
It’s really simple: eat lots of fruits/veggies and high fiber foods, avoid excessive fat intake, cut down on the refined foods; then get out and do some with that body of yours! Your whole body will thank you! And you will feel much better!
It’s Chinese New Year, and you wouldn’t believe the things I eat! I couldn’t in all honesty say much of what I have eaten in the past five days has approached anything close to health food. More’s the pity.
So what’s wrong with the Chinese New Year Diet! Well, high in fats, high in salts, high in various dangerous forms of cholestrol, high in carbs, high in… Get the picture!
I feel like I need to spend a little more time exercising (despite the rain), eating more healthy food, perhaps even taking multivitamins for men!
Let’s hope that the better weather returns soon! I don’t think my body will forgive me this time for Chinese New Year!
Perhaps it’s the impending arrival of Chinese New Year and the hasty onrush of Spring that spurs people to renovate their houses. But it’s always this time of year that the jackhammers come out and drill away walls, floors, and anything that stands in between it and a large renovation bill.
One friend’s house is being redone for about NT$1000000, but many people spend much more on their renovations: decorating the walls, redoing the floors, laying down new kitchens and bathrooms with all kinds of fixtures and fittings. Having just looked at the state of our kitchen and bathroom, though, I’m beginning to sense that (after ten years) our own house could be due for renovation, at least in the kitchen and bath areas.
I don’t think adding a few fancy Grohe faucets, shower fixtures and so on is really going to cut much ice with the wife. So we’d better start to budget our finances for this! Or it could be another several years before we actually get around to it.