Wednesday, February 15, 2017
For mum and I, church is the best place to usher in the new year. Bilingual mass started at 10:30 PM and ended fifteen minutes shy of midnight, giving parishioners enough time to find a good location to watch the fireworks display outside (some places actually started the fireworks five minutes before midnight). And a snack box was provided too. By the time we got home, it was past 1:00 AM and we had mass to attend on the 1st of January too! Not that it was mandatory, just that I had traffic warden duties to perform. A thankless job that nobody wants to do. You have to come to church before the crowd, and leave only after everyone does. And its not pleasant when the weather is hot. And drivers are a cranky bunch. Basically, traffic wardens are disconnected from what happens in the church.
Been a while since we ate at Nihon-Kai, so we gave it a try for lunch on New Year's day. Got there at 1:30 PM and it was still crowded. Had to sit at the bar counter. Interesting to experience the Japanese way of celebrating the new year. Right at the cashier counter, they had a plastic kagami mochi, which translates to mirror rice cake. Basically a snowman made of rice cake with a bitter orange on top. Not too sure about the traditional symbolism though. Since they had a special set for the day, we ordered it. Perfect for sharing with a little bit of everything-- tempura moriawase, grilled Saba, tamago, maki, inari, arrowroot chips (a Chinese touch), and ozoni which is a special mochi soup that is prepared during the new year. Also added on some nigiri sushi to complete the meal.
In the afternoon, I played Mr. Plumber. Tried to fix mum's leaky toilet. That attempt really taught me a thing or two about the 'anatomy' of a toilet. LOL. Managed to fix the leak, but I had to run out to the hardware store to get the right spare parts. Unfortunately, I discovered a more sinister problem with the plumbing. Something was definitely screwing up the pressure in my mum's bathroom. Probably some pesky leak. That's a job best left to the professionals.
At night, we had a BEC gathering at KM1 West. Everyone had a fun time trying to get to the multi-purpose hall due to the security measures. Visitors with no access cards could not access the lift lobbies and it was raining heavily outside. The problem with all these 6-tier security condominiums. A hell when you have a lot of guests coming over. At the venue, we were experiencing blackouts because the power was overloaded. Goodness. When we got all of that ironed out, we started the festivities. Stress levels were a little high because both parish priests came for the party. Luckily for us, they didn't stay long. Plenty of food and games. The hostess looked very happy because her husband joined in for the first time ever. Perhaps he wanted to cheer his wife up, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. A simple gesture but brings deep joy.