So here we are in January 2014 – the start of a new gregorian calendar year and the turn of a lunar new year tomorrow. Happy Year of the Horse everyone.
A British newspaper reported that rich Chinese women were celebrating the impending lunar new year with a trip to the Paris Couture shows. And designer clothing stores and e-tailers throughout Hong Kong have emailed me wishes of a happy Chinese new year. All of which compounds the notion that the Chinese favourite pass time is shopping. No wonder Li Na thanked her agent for making her lots of money in her Australian Open victory speech.
Meanwhile the SCMP reports that 58 per cent of mainland Chinese prefer to receive their lai see money by direct debit rather than in traditional red packets. Pity my husband’s secretary though. When he gave her her (lovely and generous) belated Christmas present in the first week of January, she made it very clear she would have preferred cash. Our guess is that she thought the gift was in lieu of lai see money this year.
Is it only in the West that we start musing about our lives as a new year looms and set resolutions that we will inevitably fail to keep?
As my inbox fills up with emails wishing me all kinds of equine puns for the year ahead – mostly that I “gallop towards prosperity” – I’m not feeling in an auspicious mood. A prediction for my Chinese animal sign (the rooster) written in a local magazine states “in whatever you do you will generally be unsuccessful.” It makes me feel not like having a duvet day but a duvet year. So I’ve started thinking of truisms in my life that it’s futile to battle against:
I never feel like going to my Pilates class (and most of the time it’s only the 100 per cent cancellation fee that gets me there) but I always feel better afterwards.
I can’t stop myself from watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians but I always feel depressed afterwards.
No matter how awful my hair looks in the run up to a hair cut, the day before the appointment it will look fabulous.
No matter how long I stay out of my hotel room, when I try to return it will always be in the midst of being cleaned.
That piece I was so pleased about buying in the Ralph Lauren sale will always be in the Ralph Lauren outlet store for a bigger discount. In my size. Hundreds of them.
And if I don’t buy it, it won’t.
The minute I leave the apartment, even just for half an hour, is when the Net a Porter delivery will arrive.
If I hang up after 20 minutes of waiting on hold on Cathay Pacific’s customer service line, I will always wonder if I was the next caller in the queue.
The day I have a banging hangover or feel otherwise unwell and in need of a duvet day is when construction starts on a neighbouring apartment.
The rare time that I schedule an early morning appointment (pre 11am) is the rare time my husband will stay out outrageously late without warning rendering me sleepless as I alternate between murderous thoughts and worry he’s lying lifeless in a ditch.
But hey, Kung Hei Fat Choy!