Written by Sabrina Chen
While I wouldn’t call my family “overly ambitious,” hosting a New Year’s party two hours after arriving from a 12-hour flight may be slightly extreme. On Dec. 31, we were stuck in a subway station in China for over two hours, from 9:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. In fact, we had bought some nice fluffy rolls of bread just before entering the subway station, but by the time we arrived home, they were as flat as paper. To picture the subway station, imagine 100 people squished into a 12-by-12-inch box. Now extend that box to a subway station, and you will have an accurate image of the situation.
The day of the party, my family rushed onto the plane to fly back. For some reason, I had a huge urge to eat cup noodles right when I got on the plane, and I couldn’t even wait until after takeoff. The urgency was severe. So, I made one of the flight attendants fill up my cup noodles with hot water, but before I could take a bite, the captain announced that we were
going to take off. I was so frazzled that the poor flight attendant had to hold my cup noodles with hot water in it during takeoff. After, I tried to entertain myself by playing cards with my then eight-year-old sister. Five seconds after we started playing, all the cards fell off the small table. The guy next to me gave me an annoyed look. Afterward, we decided to play “Plants vs. Zombies” on the iPad. The only problem: we already played the entire adventure game so only the Zen Garden was still waiting to be watered. First of all, the Zen Garden is so boring. There are some pots and you can buy seeds to plant in the pots and water them. Second of all, I wasted all my coins buying a special mystery plant that turned out just to be a pea shooter.
After twelve hours, we finally arrived home. Because of the time difference, we conveniently arrived at 4 p.m.—perfectly two hours before the guests were supposed to come. While my parents frantically prepared, my sister discovered her letter to Santa in the closet—the letter that was supposed to be sent be- fore Christmas. While she reevaluated her life, I tried to cover it up by saying that we typed up her letter and sent Santa an email instead. A 20-minute debate about whether there was Wi-Fi at the North Pole ensued. Calmly, I had to make up an elaborate story of how while Santa delivered his presents last year, he collected Wi-Fi in a bag and brought it back to the North Pole. To this day, I’m still not sure if she
believes it or not.
Finally, the 15 guests arrived. There was the classic Lin Hong whotakes more time taking photos of every dish than eating. There were the two twins who believed everything I told them even though years ago, I had tricked them into eating five bowls of rice to receive a “special prize”—a high five. There was Lewis, who was two years younger than me and very open in telling me every last detail about his love life. He even let me make him a Facebook because I told him that Google Plus wasn’t the new trendy way of living.
At last, it was time to eat. After the usual cheers and hot gossip by the parents, the party started off smoothly. The kids sat at the kid table, the parents at the parent table. Midway through the dinner, however, one of the moms decided to let the kids try her eggs. Holding a plate of eggs, she got out of harmony with the environment and the eggs started to topple out of the plate. First, an egg dropped. Then, another. Suddenly, all the eggs tumbled out. One fell on my poor sister, who was still recovering from the Santa incident. Inevitably, she spilled her orange juice at that same moment. There was a mess in the Chen household, but for some unknown reason the Chens have lots of experience with these situ- ations. First, a picture must be taken to remember the memories. Five moms appeared with cameras, telling the kids to smile and look at all of their cameras at the same time. Second, whoever spills the orange juice must clean it up. Athina “Zeeb” Chen (my sister) washaving a rough day.
All in all, it was a memorable holiday.