New Year Visit to Uncle

visit uncle new yearIt has been three hundred odd days since we celebrated the Year of the Snake. 2014 is special as we celebrated the New Year and the Year of the Horse exactly one month apart.

As today is the 7th day of the Lunar New Year, we are still not done with the Chinese New Year celebrations yet. Christmas has 12 days of festivities, and similarly, the Chinese New Year has a lengthy celebration period of 15 days. This year, Valentine’s Day coincides with the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration (元宵), which is also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

I always love the Chinese New Year; and together with Thanksgiving, these two occasions make my year complete. This year I managed to bring my wife and 2 kids to see my uncle Bing-Woon. He was the one who gave me toys and pet fish when I was 4 years old in Hong Kong.

My mom used to bring me over to visit Uncle Bing-Woon in Kowloon rather regularly. He was single and was a rather good looking man of few words and a very down-to-earth mannerism. He was one of the many good grown-ups in my family who rewarded academic excellence. Being the only male nephew of his at that time, I had the benefit of getting some rather extravagant ‘hi-tech’ toys in my young little hands. As I had the good luck of getting some lucky genes, I was ahead of my classmates many times and I was given the benefit of choosing my reward – you guessed it – Toys!!

As a little boy, my definition of toys was simple: Toys with electrical circuits were the “big boy” real deal and those without were for the wimps. (Don’t ask me how I came to this conclusion).

Uncle Bing-Woon not only gave me toys, but he also gave me one principle: The toys would last longer and better as long as the batteries were removed after each play time. The principle was a simple one but little did anyone in my family know, it was an important principle for me.  Over a relatively short time (a few years), I was known as the one with the biggest collection of good toys in my family. This was mainly due to my Uncle Bing-Woon’s principle of attentiveness. He certainly has implanted an important ligand in my DNA. How I wish I could say I have never deviated from this principle!

I have travelled many miles in life since then and now have kids of my own. Uncle Bing-Woon also has his fair share of grandkids now. Seeing him in his new home this time, Uncle Bing-Woon is still the same man with few words. Instead of black slicked back hair, he is currently sporting a cool crew cut in grey.

I came to the firm conclusion that seeing Uncle Bing-Woon over Chinese New Year with my wife and two little gals was the highlight of my 2014 Lunar New Year Hong Kong visit.

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