Saturday saw the first of a few events being held in Auckland to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year - the Chinese New Year Festival at the ASB Showgrounds. We got there relatively early in the morning when it was quite packed in some areas! They had rearranged the stage to another corner of another exhibition hall while the halls generally seemed to have fewer stalls than last year.
Us three brothers split from our parents for a little while to check out all the stalls. Most seemed to be selling food so they weren't too interesting. There were a few interesting stalls selling little toys and Asian things which were kinda cool though.
There was also this World Vision stand where a guy told us about sponsoring a child. It sounds really cool! I always think of the movie About Schmidt when I think about sponsoring a child! I wouldn't mind sponsoring a child, but first I'd have to get my finances in order!
So because there wasn't as much to see at the Chinese New Year Festival this year as past years, we decided to ask some questions at various stalls.
At the ACC stall:
"With National now in government..."
"Oh sorry we're not allowed to answer questions like those"
At the Skykiwi stall:
"Do you have any plans to translate the website in English?"
"I don't know...you go to the Henderson church don't you?"
"Yep. Yeah I wanted to have a look at the website but we can't read Chinese"
"Maybe this would be a good opportunity to learn!!"
At the World Vision stall:
"Is it still $1 a day to sponsor a child?"
"Well....now it's $1.35, but surely you can afford 0.35c!"
We spent most of the rest of the time at the festival watching the performances. There was some guy from an acrobatic troupe who made 'simulating sounds', pretending he was a bird and then pretending he was carrying a baby. There was this girl who balanced a jug of milk on a rod on her face, and there was a guy who played some traditional Chinese instrument and balanced a plate on top of a rod on top of this instrument! Judging by some in the audience his music didn't seem to appeal as much as his balancing skills!
The festival was finally about to close, so that's when my mum went loose and checked out all the food stalls outside for cheap food to buy! She managed to buy several containers of dumplings for a few dollars. The organisers were shouting into their megaphones asking stall owners to close as we ate at a picnic table. These people who were wheeling away boxes filled with lucky red envelopes that had one Chinese Yuan in each of them accidentally tipped over their box and some of the envelopes scattered along the ground. We originally sent Aonghas to fetch some, and initially he intended to return the envelopes to them but they left before he could! He got about ten envelopes so I'd say that makes about NZ$1?
We spent the evening at a dinner held for my mum's church group at one of the members' houses. Our mum was busy cooking and didn't have time to find the address so she told me the surname and I searched for it (or what I thought it was!) in the White Pages. We jumped in the car and drove there, only for Aonghas to realise that was his friend's house and not where the dinner would be! I tried texting and ringing a few people but to no avail, until Jenny from my youth group came to our rescue and texted me the address.
We arrived late as usual and joined in the dinner. Gabrielle, our youth group leader and Jenny were already there and we joined them when Angie, her sister and her cousin arrived later. Angie soon joined us and we all chatted into the night! Well...until the mosquitos came out and we all decided to call it a night!