With the current trend of “life hacks” surfacing all over the Internet these days, you can no doubt trust us Internet people to come up with a million ingenious ways to make your life a little easier. Even during the Chinese New Year.
From peeling mandarin oranges to squirming away from nosy relatives, we’ve got you covered so this festive season doesn’t have to be another one you’ll have to endure. You can thank us later for that.
1. Use this handy angpow rate card
We chanced upon AIA’s angpow rate card sometime back, and honestly think that it’s one of the best things ever since sliced bread and Instagram.
Now you never have to feel guilty again for sneaking that $2 into your second-cousin-twice-removed’s neighbour’s nephew’s kids’ angpows. Because AIA told you so.
2. Never eat mandarin oranges the same way again
Can’t seem to consume/serve those juicy Chinese New Year staples without making a mess of your living room? Follow this infographic for a simple but ingenious way to serve up them oranges.
1 and 2: Cut both sides of the orange. 3. Cut a slit across half the orange. 4. Gently roll out orange segments in a neat, simple strip.
Not only will it keep your spanking new cheongsam stain-free, it can double up as a conversation starter should things get drawn out and awkward. We’re impressed.
3. Reward yourself for spring cleaning
Those who follow my articles know how huge a fan I am of local mobile marketplace Carousell. And this just adds on to my long list of reasons why.
Impulse buys still lying neglected at the bottom of your closet? “Snap, list, and sell” them on Carousell to make space (and cash) for the stuff you’ll actually wear — hundreds of others are already doing just that.
For those looking to snag a quick deal with your new year shopping, there’s also no better time to do so than this festive season. We’ve seen stuff from brands like Victoria’s Secret and Mango run as cheap as just $5 from those desperate to let go of their goods. Which, by the way, are either brand new or still have plenty of wear left in them.
So if you’re not already whiling your time away scrolling endlessly through the app, we’re not sure what you’re waiting for.
4. Deflect annoying questions
Tired of getting bombarded with the same old banal questions about your private life year in and year out? So are we. Here’s where the folks behind web-based application Why So Kaypoh step in as our saving grace.
The app boasts a clean, intuitive interface loaded with punchy ammunition for everything from school to relationships and careers. Simply open the application on your mobile device (iOS and Android) and soak in the satisfaction from their reactions. But remember that face: they might never speak to you again, let alone grill you about your love life.
Wit, brevity, and just the right level of sarcasm. We like.
Check out our review of the app here.
5. Get attached…for a day
If an app just won’t cut it for relatives questioning your continuation of their DNA (or your sexual orientation), you might want to consider landing yourself a gentleman date/”husband” from Rent-A-Gent. (Don’t worry, the site is legit.) Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The website is a marketplace of stringently-selected male escorts available for rent by the hour. You get to select the age, ethnicity, and height of your gentleman, who will even provide services like singing, dancing and — you guessed it — stripping, for all your #lonelyheart needs. Take note, though, that their services don’t come cheap: they charge between SGD$600 to SGD$6,000 a pop, depending on their working hours.
We reviewed the site (not service) here.
The last we checked, they don’t rent out the ladies. (Sorry guys!) That calls for another kind of service.
6. Portable fireworks
Can’t make it to catch the Chinese New Year fireworks, or simply too lazy to do so? Recreate those clichéd firework shots to your heart’s content with this app creatively called Chinese New Year Fireworks.
Despite being a tad too tacky for our liking, when one’s gotta take a firework selfie, one’s gotta take a firework selfie. And we’ve got to admit, portable fireworks are pretty darn ingenious. The app is an in-camera simulation of fireworks (complete with the boom-boom-booms) which you can pretty much juxtapose on any background of your choice.
My sister and I just snapped a selfie with breathtaking fireworks in the background. In my living room.
7. Speak comprehensible Mandarin
For our non-Chinese friends, don’t worry: we haven’t forgotten about you. If you’d like to join in the Chinese New Year fun house-hopping, we strongly suggest you pick up a Mandarin phrase or two, especially new year greetings and basic phrases like asking for the loo. Even if just to impress Auntie Tan (read: and therefore, angpow.)
A slew of free apps are available online and in mobile app stores, including Anki, Pleco, or with the adorable panda at ChineseSkill, depending on your learning preferences. Even Bill Gates was up for the challenge.
Or you could memorise this chart (but don’t take our word for it).
8. Skip it altogether
If you’d still rather walk through a billion firecrackers setting off simultaneously than celebrate Chinese New Year with your relatives and frenemies, you might like to take advantage of the long weekend to skip it altogether. Although flight fares might be slightly pricier during this peak period, a holiday sipping a tropical mocktail in the Maldives sure beats packing in the money for those snotty ingrate kids.
I mean, just look at it.
Here are our top 8 places to escape this Chinese New Year.
Gong xi fa cai, bitches.