It’s Chinese New Year, and everyone’s coming round. Don’t get me wrong- I love being part of a multicultural, diverse family that celebrates all kinds of traditions- but there are just…so many of them. For Christmas, which some members of our family don’t even celebrate, we hosted seventeen. Our home is not that big, so some were forced out into the garden.
For Chinese New Year? We’ve probably got about forty or so. Forty. I just don’t have the social energy to get around to everyone. Oh, and we just have the one bathroom. Imagine queuing for the bathroom in your own home, and you’ve got the idea.
It’s my job this year to have a Melbourne plumbing company on standby. I don’t want to name names, but…actually, I’m totally naming names. Uncle Jeng is a character, great at parties, makes everyone feel welcome and is basically the king of giving gifts. But he does tend to spend a long time in the bathroom, and sometimes the pipes just can’t take it. No more details required.
And then there’s the hot water situation. Mum had the boiling water tap installed after last year when our kettle died mid-celebration. Obviously tea is a big part of the festivities, and it becomes no fun when you’re trying to brew for two-score people with a saucepan on the stove. Except the plumber said those things are temperamental at the best of times, and I just know it’s going to be overworked. We really just need an extra house grafted onto the end of this one to properly accommodate. That’s what we get for being the most central relatives. At least there’s a park at the end of the road with a barbecue…most years, all the younger relatives filter down there while the older ones relax in the house and complain about the noise.
It’s a great celebration, really, it is! I’m just old enough now for it to be stressful. So, emergency Melbourne plumber on standby. Maybe an electrician, too. And the fire brigade, because there will be fireworks.