… 恭喜發財，紅包拿來! aka… “Happy New Year, now give me the red envelope with lots of money.” That antic only holds up for the 5-year old girl with pigtails and cherubic cheeks. I’m 22 now, I earn my money. How sad, I’m not a kid anymore age-wise, but I’m still a bubbly girl at heart =P When will I grow up?
And yes, I get to celebrate the New Year twice; double the fun for all the Chinese in the world =)
Actually, Chinese New Year 2011 came at an auspicious time. I just successfully sweeped through Neuroscience in January, with 2 blessed snow days and a cancelled NBME exam. Physiology started today, but the last few days has been a (wintry) paradise.
I went home Wednesday for a few hours to secure a summer job in case research and global travels do not work out. Turns out, I went in for my ‘interview’ on the wrong day, which happened to be Chinese New Year’s Eve, which I also happened to forget. Yes, I’m a failure at being Chinese, forgetting the most important cultural celebration all year. Anyway, my bad was my good, because I went home to spend time with my family and have a hearty home-cooked meal: flounder fish, tofu and vegetables, and RICE! As a post-dinner bonding time with my sister, we watched our new weakness, MTV’s True Life. I’m slightly embarrassed to say the episode, but we settled on I Can’t Have Sex. To be honest, the episode was weird, but fascinating. When you’re a medical student, every disease and malfunction of the body becomes a learning experience, and from that episode, I learned about vaginismus and vulvar vestibulitis…
That night, I came back and hung out with a few old (and new) friends in the undergraduate dorm. More Chinese people and more Chinese food, with beer and rum. A good night of just milling and chilling over food, fun, and shananagans.
Next day, I did not have anything important going on for class, because I’m still waiting to hear back from my clinical preceptor. It was a free-for-all day, where I bought ski tickets, ran some errands, and went to the gym for an endorphin overkill. Then it was time to get a little serious with our last Neuroscience project, creating messed up patients with CNS lesions, strokes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and life problems. That wonderful day, I finally saw my medical school gang after maybe, 3-4 days. It was too long of a break, after all that studying and enjoying the days off. We were all like happy kids, “Gong Xi Fa Cai… Xin Nian Kuai Le… Gong Hey Fat Choy…!!!” For the evening, we all went out to celebrate at the East Pavilian in Setauket near campus, and had family style Chinese food. The table was long, akin to the Medieval royal dining style in castles. If only we got the round turntables, then it would be a true Chinese family-style dining experience. I was tempted to have Japanese Hot Pot, but I got a slap on the wrist for swaying my umami to the wrong Asian cuisine. Instead, our little section ordered Ma-La Lamb, Beef Chow Fun, ’10 Treasure Ingredient,’ and Watercress vegetables. A little further down, there was an order of Peking Duck and vegetable mixture. Yums… East Pavilion is one of the better local Chinese restaurants, as good as it gets outside of Chinatown and Flushing. We all had a good time, chatting about life, medical school, the differences between watercress & waterchesnuts, and what the hell prawn was.
A good night, but I must snap back to reality. Chinese New Year may be a festivity on the other side of the world, but here in America, we don’t get time off from school to celebrate like the Jews. I still had a Neuroscience project to complete, a script to fix up, and a patient to mess up. I took a nap at 12:30, woke up at 3:30, and stayed awake all night to pump through this paper. At 6 am this morning, I made pasta with vegetables and organic tomato soup while watching more news on the Egypt situation and a man in Brooklyn attempting to sexually assault women for their underwear. Then I went to school, only to fall asleep in my first histology lab, which I am in now =)