by Robert Bicknell
Ah, another Tết celebration, for me, it’s number 27 and the difference between the first and now is like night and day, black and white, sweet and sour…
Well, you get the idea.
Unfortunately, not all changes were for the better, but a lot of them equal out somehow. For example, there are more golf courses, but green fees are higher. There are also more players, so it’s still crowded out there.
So, the more things change, the more they remain the same… sort of.
Oh yeah, I forgot, my wife wants a new áo dài for the holiday, and so does my daughter. I am waiting for the family hamster to demand one, although I’d pay money to see it wearing one. That would go viral in a heartbeat. I just wish I could figure out how to make money from it.
So, of course, wife and daughter will get new áo dài’s because who am I to stand in the way of Vietnamese tradition, such as áo dài or… ahem… bánh chưng…
I promised myself not to get started on that particular topic a few years ago and, for the most part, I have succeeded. However…
No, I won’t. If you want to know my feeling on bánh chưng, you’ll need to look at my Tết columns from 10 years ago or so. Suffice it to say, I had a bad experience with a large one during my first Tết celebration and I’ve been suspicious of those things ever since.
Hint: It’s made from “glutinous rice” and the operative word is “glue”.
I will say that bánh chưng is delicious and an integral part of Vietnamese tradition and culture. I just feel the thing is out to get me, so I stay clear of it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Anyway, it’s the day after Tết that I look forward to because it signifies the beginning of a new year where anything is possible. The old year is gone and a new one begins and, frankly speaking, for me, 2018 and Year of the Dog sucked.
Worse, I was born in Year of the Dog, so you’d think it would be a great year for me, but noooo. Nothing went right for me and I cannot wait to see it gone. Like a dog, I am prone to fall for the “pump fake” where you make it look like you’re gonna throw the ball, but don’t.
The dog, however, runs like a bat out of hell for the ball, realises the ball wasn’t thrown, then trots back feeling like a schmuck before peeing on the person’s shoe. The problem is we ALWAYS fall for it.
My personal pump fake is believing what club owners tell me, but I don’t pee on their shoe afterwards, which somehow makes me feel worse. I should do it because that too would go viral for sure…
The bigger problem for me is that the coming year is Pig and I’m Jewish, so I really have no idea what going to happen, but I’m sure it won’t be boring. I will hope for the best and prepare for a huge heavenly pump fake because he likes to do it to me too.
I will be putting off my usual custom of going out for a round of golf during Tết this year because all my favourite courses are fully booked, plus they charge holiday rates, so forget it. Normally, I would be managing a club, so I had a place to play, but once you get old, nobody seems to want you.
That sucks too.
Instead, I will wait a few weeks, then head down to The Bluffs for my first game of the year. I figure, I should play on a course that I like and have a half decent chance of playing well on, as well as one which allows buggies on fairways.
Having bad feet sucks too.
My only worry is that with The Bluffs being seaside, with my luck Ali Mac will throw a stick in the ocean and say “fetch” and I’ll be halfway to Australia before realising I’d been pump faked again…
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới and I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous New Year. VNS