Sunday, 10 February 2008

Year of the Rat

When I was a kid, every Chinese New Year would mean my Dad pulling out this tape of traditional Chinese New Year songs sung in English, with pretty awful translations. The worst part of that is, now whenever I hear these songs at shopping centres and the like, I just immediately think of the English lyrics ("may the new year bring you all the things you want / and the best of health and wealth to you!").

Spent Day 2 at the zoo, which turned out to be the day Ah Meng died. Saw the orang utans up close, but the trainers didn't mention the death at all - heard it on the news. I suppose the only song lyric that even mentions orang utans that I can think of is Simon and Garfunkel's "At the Zoo", appropriately enough, so I'll quote the lines:
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages
Happy Year of the Rat, y'all.



The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
they're dumb...


Apparently in Austin, TX the way to celebrate the Year of the Rat was to put up a tent in a Chinese shopping center and show hourly martial arts exhibitions from local studios for 15 minutes out of every hour, and spend the other 45 minutes telling everyone to go eat at the surrounding Chinese restaurants. I think I'd have preferred orangutans, myself.


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