Monday, December 27, 2004

Whoa! Yahoo's been reporting the biggest quake in 40 years occurring in Indonesia, our neighbouring country. 8.9 Richter is tremendous, and the body count as of now is 7000 across Asia and SE Asia. This event is unimaginable to us, particularly since we didn't feel a thing. No shakes, no tremors, none of the 20ft high waves that crashed into coastal resorts and villages as far away as India, killing thousands and making millions homeless.

And what are we doing here in Singapore? Continuing to celebrate Christmas like nothing's happening anywhere else in the world. We had better stop taking such blessings for granted. We can't count on being so sheltered and insulated every time. We may have been protected this time around, but others have been badly hit. So let's look for opportunities to assist in the relief efforts in whatever form is needed. Keep your eyes open, 'k?

Sigh. After all that, it's hard to record down the clan gathering at my uncle's place tonight. The family of my maternal side meets every year at Christmas as a tradition that stretches back to Great-Grandma's time to the present. My maternal side is a very large extended family and unless we've kept close tabs on who's who and what developments have taken place over the past year, it's hard to believe how quickly members of the family grow up and pair off and even have little ones of their own.

This side of the family tends to have more professionals in the private sector than my dad's side who are mostly government employees. Mom's side tends to have bigger achievers, whether in terms of career, or sporting activities, or scholarship, or family growth, so for an underachiever (read 'slacker') like me it felt a bit more awkward tonight than at Christmas eve with my dad's side.

The gathering was at the Caribbean, a condo project at Harbourfront on the site of the old Empire Docks. Architecture very geometric, full of glass and steel, lots of landscaping and scattered all around with water features of odd metallic designs. I thought the location would serve well as a set for a futuristic movie. Hmm...

So, once again, lots of good food, carol singing, some scripture reading, and quite some gift exchanging. In this large family it gets a bit chaotic (even with a volunteer Santa to help with gift distribution), but it's fun as well. Same time next year?

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