Chinese New Year in Penang: 2013 Edition

We’re spending the Chinese New Year in Penang, with James’ mom’s family, as I have every year since 2009.

Our itinerary is the same every year:

– Spend a lot of time with relatives. They’re lovely, and we only see them once or twice a year.

James is well over a decade older than any of his cousins in Penang, but they're cool and let us hang out with them anyway ;)

James is well over a decade older than any of his cousins in Penang, but they’re cool and let us hang out with them anyway ;)

– Hit up the hawker centre in my mother-in-law’s old neighbourhood.

The menu for each hawker meal typically comprises Penang kway teow tng (which comes with the most amazing soup because the hawker is up at 4 am each morning to boil it), Penang char kway teow (with no sweet sauce, unlike the Singapore version), and ban chien koay (which is a pancake topped with a mixture of peanuts, butter and sugar – and nothing like the pathetic Singapore version). The hawkers all know James’ aunt and so she gets to place her order and then wander off to buy more food rather than wait in line :)

Not many stalls are open on the first day of the new year. It was lucky that one of the koay teow tng stalls was. And this bowl was only RM2.70!

Not many stalls are open on the first day of the new year. It was lucky that one of the koay teow tng stalls was. And this bowl was only RM2.70!

– Check out the hotel’s annually-decorated ‘G’ logo. This year’s was awful, though. Previously they decorated it to look like the year’s zodiac animal, but instead of a snake they made up this year’s to look like the God of Fortune. I refuse to take a photo so here’s one of the old ones instead.

This one from 2012 is far and away my favourite.

This one from 2010 is far and away my favourite.

– Laze around a lot. Sometimes in the hotel room, sometimes at Starbucks, sometimes at relatives’ homes. Naps, more than once a day, are also acceptable.

And that’s it, really!

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