Monday, February 19, 2018

Same festivity, different year, different place

Seeing that it has been a long while since I properly celebrated Chinese New Year (the reunion dinners and the red packets included), I was more than prepared to spend the first day on campus to do my own thing. It was also advantageous that the Adelaide Fringe started on the same day, which meant that I could ditch my backpack in the locker and tour the Adelaide Night Market and Parade of Lights if I wanted to.

That certainly didn’t happen.

About a week before the actual event, my sister decided to step in because she didn’t want me to feel all alone and homesick during the festivity. (In all honesty, I’d have been okay either way. Unfortunately, Christmas might just be the time that I’ll feel all alone.) She arranged for the good friend to celebrate Chinese Year with me. Contrary to what you think, we didn’t have a big meal. We only had a simple dinner that consisted of πουργούρι and Japanese potato salad. Now, πουργούρι (romanized as pourgourri but pronounced as borgori) is a traditional Cypriot wheat made from durum wheat. Based on what I gathered from his explanation of the dish, it hinged towards fried rice - except that we use loads of soy sauce and they use Greek yoghurt. The potato salad was a recipe taught by an acquaintance in Petaling Jaya almost a decade ago.

First day of the Adelaide Fringe's Parade of Lights. The building in the background is the Art Gallery of South Australia

The Northern Lights at the South Australian Museum

Northern Lights - up close

M1 on North Terrace being illuminated

Elder Hall

Elder Hall

Oddly enough, the hours slipped through the crack of my fingers as we chatted about everything - ranging from uni-related matters all the way to our hopes for the future and relationships. You can probably imagine that it was an open-ended conversation in a half-private matter. The campus usually buzzes with life on a Friday evening, but because university hadn’t officially started, there were less students than normal. Kind of a slow pace, you could say, but it gave us just the right amount of privacy to speak. I guess the nature of our conversation allowed us to understand each other from a different perspective - something that may not occur in the ordinary circumstances, i.e. catching up after class or even a group hangout.

Soon after sunset, we figured that it would be better to breathe the fresh air and check out the architectural projections instead of gluing ourselves to the seats. There were so many people who turned up that it was easy to lose your companion - unless you have a way to contact them. Not to mention, it was tough to get a good angle for photography without a monopod/tripod and without accidentally capturing other people’s faces too. I figured that since I might have to stay back on campus until dusk after the semester started, it’d be easier to take the pictures there and then.

At the old location of the Royal Adelaide Hospital

As it approached towards 10pm when we arrived, the crowd dwindled. They either made their way to the Adelaide Night Market or onward to the Garden of Unearthly Delights

Live acoustics

It was also a surprise to have met his sister, their cousin, and their mutual friend too! I became an observer instead as small talk is not my forte and I couldn’t contribute to their conversation, which, I think, he felt it too. Yet we made our way closer towards East Terrace - and closer towards the location of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital. I kind of liked the atmosphere that greeted me: it was away from street party yet it had its own celebration. There were five sheds dedicated to food trucks, but since we went late, only two were open. There was access to food and drinks with good, relaxing music. Other diners were more than welcome to engage in their own conversation or listen to the acoustics. I don’t remember what time it was when we called it a night and went our separate ways, but we were yawning - one after another. A surefire sign that we were exhausted.


  1. I've always wanted to visit the Fringe Festival. I hear it's one of the best in Australia.

    1. It's definitely popular than the one in Perth, that's for sure.


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