Tet is coming but the weather in Hanoi is so strange, sunny and hot, like in summer. I am wearing short-sleeved shirts and using air conditioning these days.
As a teacher I have a really long Tet holiday, from 4 Feb to 21 Feb. So I have plenty of time to prepare for Tet, no need to hurry. Honestly, I go for 'simple Tet'. I just buy some necessary things.
First, new clothing items. Vietnamese people have a habit of wearing new clothes on Tet holiday. I bought new shirts for my son, partly because he is growing and needs larger clothes. I bought a shirt and a pair of shoes for myself but at somebody else's expense. :-) It was a bithday present.
Second, lucky money. My colleague changed new money for me just before we started our Tet holiday. The denomination is 10,000 dong, 5,000 dong for lucky money and 500 dong for visiting pagoda on New Year's Day. I also have some brandnew money to present my mum and parents-in-law.
Third, decorating the flat. I bought a small mandarin orange-tree. I put in in the living room. And I post my son's painting of tigeress and baby on the fridge.
Next, snacks. I shopped for snacks a week ago, early, in case they are out of stock. Some biscuits, chocolate candy, nuts and fried fruit (from Dalat). I will buy some fresh fruits tomorrow. All of them are in small quantity but 'high quality'.
Now food. My first sister promised to give me a chicken she raises at home and my mum also promised to give me a couple of square cakes. Whoa, too many gifts... However, I will have to buy some fresh vegetables and meat to put in the fridge because after Tet, prices are high and foods are not available.
It seems that I have prepared almost everything for Tet. Now the most important thing is prepare MY MOOD for Tet. :-)