Tuesday, 12 February 2008

London Chinese New Year discovery

I was invited to a Chinese New Year dinner gathering last Saturday by KT. It was held on a Saturday as all of us Malaysian Chinese here had to work during CNY, no holiday for us poor souls.
It was held in a nice double storey house, rent by 4 Malaysians currently working in London. As more and more guests arrived, I realised it is more like a gathering for Malaysian accountants!

One of the hosts is the brother of my ex-schoolmate. I also bumped into some of my former colleagues and my former classmates, all currently working in London… all accountants. There was also this junior from my

By the 9pm or so, the whole house was swamped with Malaysians… all accountants… all wishing each other ‘xing nian kuai le’, subtly moving our feet and head to the CNY tunes playing from the hi-fi system.

I believe one of the main reasons
why Malaysians still choose to remain in Malaysia is the presence of families and close friends; and of course the food. But when I sat at one corner and observed all that was going on in the house that day; I realised that those reasons and slowly but surely diminishing.

If Malaysians think moving overseas will result in loneliness, think again. There is really a very closely knitted Malaysians community here and I understand that gathering in this particular house is quite common. There was really a very lively buzz amongst everyone. Loneliness in a foreign land is slowly becoming a myth; at least here in London.

After telling people there that I am only here for a short stint, I was constantly asked whether I plan to work here permanently. Everyone was just so enthusiastic about working here and earning £, you just know that they will all be here for a really long time. I also know for a fact that a lot of Malaysians are in the process of getting jobs here.

Of course, there is the regular chat about the political scene in Malaysia. As expected, everyone there is utterly pissed about things back in Malaysia and there is a general consensus that things will only get worse. Personally, I feel it is such a sad fact that all these talented accountants are plying their trade in a foreign land and only have bad things to say about home. But then again, the phrase “I love my country but my country does not love me” again comes into play…

Besides good food, enlightening fellowship amongst Malaysians, a CNY gathering will never be complete without a good gambling session. Gambling in £, though not my first time; it is certainly very nervous looking at the cards in your hand. I made £11 and went home happy…

Last not but least… guess who I found amidst the CNY celebration in London?























31 comments:

mrbherng said...

It is pretty amazing to see that there is still such a close knit between the MAlaysians working abroad. The scene here in Cardiff is not as happening though, even as a student.

myop101 said...

perhaps what you are going through now is no different from what our ancestors went through when the came to the shores of Malaya...

svllee said...

Hi Zewt, hey I got the same photo of that gwai-lo, had to pay £1 for donation to take his photo! I was there also and just blogged about it! Did you see the q's into all the restaurants, totally mad! I found a little Korean restaurant in a quite street with no queue and had a good 3 course lunch there for £7!

gina said...

Yeah.. in fact, I have some accountant friends who are highly sought in Australia. I guess accounting will never go wrong huh? I must have gone into the wrong line. Sigh.

Anyway - the gwai lou choy san is so damn hilarious! Haha!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haah what a joker..

haha tell me abt it when it comes to gambling in pounds..u shud c my face when i won a pot of 33 odd pounds to only lose it all!

Wuching said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wuching said...

oh yea..we have gwilo choy sun too; http://wuching.com/2008/02/10/my-annual-dose-of-lion-dance-and-firecrackers/

me said...

did u bug gwailo choi sun for some £?? much better than RMs.

me said...

the cold weather is blurring your eyesight. second paragraph. last sentence. sentence incomplete?? too many late night parties, zewt.

Sharon said...

see? there now do you feel more at home now at the gathering? ;)
LOL, gwai lou choy sun, now thats the first i see, not bad. did he give out red packets in pound as well?

Kathryn said...

Hi, happy chinese new year haha, wow spending cny in london must have been really fun

stocktube said...

the brain-drain didn't happen overnight ... anyway, gong xi fa chai ...

cheers ...

suituapui said...

All young and capable professionals like u just pack ur bags and mover abroad...where all the money is!!! If ALL of you were to come back and form one strong, solid party, then I'd have an option when election day comes. Well, just be thankful that here, if you're an opposition and win a seat, they don't slap a lawsuit on you and find u guilty (without fail) and render u not eligible to be MP!!! Isn't that what happens in a nearby country? Come to think of it, which ASEAN country's government is comparatively better? Brunei??? (Suggestion, NOT my opinion!)

Lynnwei said...

i had my cny eve dinner in london. totally no atmosphere of cny. =(

but had a great time in london! ekekekek!!!

Maverick SM said...

Slowly, as you stay longer and reflect over the differences of the two countries, you may want to stay put there and earn pound sterling while at the same time discover that life is much sweeter over there.

kyh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kyh said...

i'd rather choose to be lonely in foreign lands than receiving undeserved treatments in my own country. but heck, u aint gonna be lonely forever there, are you? we'll make frens along the way, form relationships as we go on. so loneliness is jz for a very short period of time, and that won't be permanent.

psss.... where r ur parisian stories?!?? u know i love france and paris!... ahahahaa.

pavlova said...

the food looks great! another open house!
that seems like the overall theme most most Msians abroad eh?? food, food, glorious food!
great to see you have gambling in it too... haha

zewt said...

mrbherng - well... i am sure, in time to come... it could be... else... come to london!

myop101 - well said... so in time to come... malaysians will flood the streets of london... :)

svllee - hahaha...i just snapped and quickly walk away... didnt make any donation.

gina - accoutants... it's a wrong way when you work in malaysia.

constant craver joe - hahahahahaha.... i can imagine... same thing happened to the banker!

zewt said...

wuching - hahahha... they have conquered the chinese heaven!

me - negative... u bug this one... he ask £ from you instead. as for incomplete sentence... nvm la... as long as u understand.

Sharon - no... he was asking for money... he ... salah haluan la.

Kathryn - yeah... though i miss the good food at home... spending it here does have its share of fun.

stocktube - another 10 years... malaysia will surely feel the pain.

zewt said...

suituapui - well... i dont really care whether MPs are clean or whatever not... as long as law and order is maintained... something seriously lacking in this country. oh... we form a party? DAP... democratic accounting party... hahahahahaha...

Lynnwei - hahahahaha... u wouldnt change it for anything right?

Maverick SM - i dont need time to know that... we all know that by heart already...

kyh - yup... well said... rather suffer here than to suffer back home... paris... leaving this weekend la...

pavlova - hahahaha... only good when u win... if you lose... sakit oh...

vincent said...

Yes, Malaysians overseas tend to stick together and are close-knit. Sometimes a bit too close-knit than they should be.

But I digress.

I HATE Malaysians who work overseas and complain about things back home. The thing is - if you want to work overseas for the money or for your career, or even because you met a foreigner and got married, then fine. Nobody begrudges you for your decisions and your dreams in life.

But don't work overseas and then complain that things at home are not ideal. Come home and work. If you want things to change, you need to change it yourself. Don't expect the rest of us to change things and then roll out a red carpet for you when things are all bright and rosy.

I abhore people like that.

I am quite proud of this article, so please do read it:
http://vbglau.blogspot.com/2006/05/braindrain-reason.html

erinalaw said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!! Hope I am not too late

suituapui said...

Accounting democratic??? I rest my case! How about Donkey Accountants' Party!!! (Quickly runs and hides!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!....Hey! Can't u guys take a joke?? U urselves said it's modern slavery what!!!)

zewt said...

vincent - dude... so are you game for a change or not?

erinalaw - not at all!

suituapui - like that... MSP la... modern slaves party...

Huei said...

hmm..is this the 3rd comment box in a row with 25 comments that i've opened up today!? heheheh

ahh! choy sun is everywhere!!

zewt said...

huei - 26 may be your lucky number then...

sharlydia said...

good to hear that u had a wonderful CNY gathering there in london! at least not too lonely...

zewt said...

sharlydia - oh yeah.... never too lonely in london.

may said...

we have some CNY atmosphere going around here too, and definitely apparent in the Chinese community. we didn't have a gwailo Choy Sun Yeh, but at least we had a lion dance in the restaurant! oh and lots of lanterns hanging in the office.

zewt said...

may - and those doing the lion dance are not gwai lo right? hehe...