(Menu for the 'reunion dinner' 2005)
Having celebrated Chinese New Year abroad for five consecutive years, I am now back in my homeland spending this traditional holiday with my parents and wife.
I left Taiwan in autumn 2002 to present those 30s and 40s Shanghai popular songs to the academic world, and from 2003 onwards I didn't have 'reunion dinner' (團圓飯 tuanyuan fan) with my parents until this year.
- In 2003, the year of the goat, I was in a flat with my then fiancée and two Chinese flatmates at Murray Place, Stirling.
- In 2004, the year of the monkey, during my fieldwork in Mainland China, I was invited by one of the Stirling flatmates to his home town, Taiyuan (太原).
- In 2005, the year of the rooster, I hosted a reunion dinner with the landlady's family and a few local friends at Clarendon Place, Stirling.
- In 2006 and 2007, years of the dog and of the pig respectively, I arranged new year's eve dinners for the landlady, colleagues and several locals at Victoria Place, Stirling.
(Front and back of the menu)
I still keep all these cards. Images given in this entry are from the menu for 2005, the year of the rooster.
A Chinese saying goes, 'Whether loaded or penniless, marry a wife to enjoy new year (有錢沒錢, 討個老婆好過年 youqian meiqian, tao ge laopo hao guo nian).' I'm still un-full-time-employed, and hence in one sense penniless, but I do have a wife, a dutiful and loving wife (although she failed to follow the minister and made a mistake by saying 'beautiful and lovely wife' when pledging her troth in our wedding).
I'm so glad I don't have to design a menu and put it into practice on my own in the year of the rat, but I do wish in the near future I can be the host again for those who supported me in all aspects of life in Stirling.