When I was young, I looked forward to Tet. It was when we could eat so many things which we couldn't on other days, when we could have new clothes, when we could receive lucky money and when we felt happy to know that we grew up one more year to be an adult. But now I am in my late-thirties, Tet is not too welcomed like before.
Before Tet, I went shopping for some things to store to eat during Tet, for flowers to decorate home, and I contribute some money to my two mums as a good habit in Vietnam that married children give money to parents before Tet. I did not forget to buy some new clothing items for son. And one more thing, exchanged for new money to give lucky money and to go to pagodas. Honestly, the first two things are as usual. When living standards are good, good food and flowers become everyday things not only for Tet. I live with my son and we eat not much so I don't have to buy much food. But prices are high, Tet cost me quite a lot of money. Two months' salary or so :-). However, no sao. We have only one Tet throughout the year (nice words to console ourselves). What I like is the busy atmosphere of preparing Tet.
During Tet, what have I been doing these days? Not much. I have visited my family in law and my mum and I have been to pagodas. I have cooked and eaten meals with more dishes than ordinary days. I won't be able to visit my sisters and brothers' own families. We live in different parts of the city and they are busy with their Tet things. So we gathered at my mum's house on New Year's Day. Not enough family members. My two sisters were absent. I did not visit my dearest uncle because I met him some days before Tet. I have so many uncles and aunts and cousins living in the same village as my mum's but I am so different from them. We do not have much close relationships. So no need to visit them. What about my colleagues-friends? Most of them go to their hometown. They spend the holiday not in Hanoi. And one reason we hardly ever go to each other's houses is we live with family - in - law. We do not want to receive our acquaintances at home mainly because we feel not home. And as Vietnamese women/wives, we have to follow family rules: cooking and eating and cleaning and caring children. How about going out? Nowhere to go except pagodas, cinemas and some cafes and ice cream shops. I asked my son where he wanted to go. Instead of answering he asked me where I wanted to take him to. I had no ideas. So stayed home. Why not travelling? I intended to travel. Spending Tet somewhere else. But I was not determined enough. Now regret. Too late to go. My son is back to school in two days. Next Tet will be different.
I spend most of the time sleeping, cooking, eating, watching films and surfing the net. I look forward to the end of Tet...