Thursday, 31 January 2008

Chinese New Year cards

Finally, I'm all done with this year's Chinese New Year greeting cards. All 32 of them, including two which are going to relatives in Singapore. Funny, I took the cards to the Post Office in Bayan Baru, Penang in order to find out the cost of postage to Singapore and guess what? For the first card, the lady weighed it and told me RM1.30. My jaw almost dropped. Since when have the postage charges increased so much? Then she took the other card and put it on the weighing machine too. Hey, she said, this one's 90 sen. Huh? I asked her: shouldn't it be the same too? Same card inside. So she re-weighed the first card and then told me: "Very slight difference but never mind...this one can be 90 sen too."

Wahh, blimey, I thought to myself. Two identical cards, two identical envelopes, both going to the same destination. But different weight. Must be the addresses then. One is slightly longer than the other. More ink used, perhaps. 40 sen worth of extra ink on the other envelope.

So now you know. Tell your friends not to move into housing areas with extra long names. Or ask them how to shorten their addresses or their names. Drop the Mr or Mrs or Ms. Drop the surnames or, in the case of Malays and Indians, drop the part of their names after the bin/binti or al/ap. Maybe drop the postcode too. All these add up to extra w-e-i-g-h-t which adds up to extra costs.

I looked at the bright side. I saved a BIG 40 sen. Goo Chiar Lean (bullock cart wheel), my late mum would have told me! I would have looked up heavenwards (heaven's up there, isn't it?) and shrugged respectfully but indignantly: that's almost worth half a glass of barley (no sugar) at the coffee shops today, y'know.

Mmm...maybe I should've sent the Chinese New Year cards to my Singapore friends too. I would have saved enough for a plate of Sar Hor Fun! Perhaps it's still not too late to prepare them. Problem is, I can't recognise the Malay lady at the Post Office counter. For sure, she'll give me 90 sen again. But maybe, not if its another person at the counter.

Ahh...never mind. So to all my friends and relatives in Malaysia AND Singapore that do not receive a physical Chinese New Year greeting card from me, I still wish you Keong Hee Huat Chye from the bottom of my heart. I really do! And may the year rat on you!


TZ said...

I have stop sending and receiving physical New Year's card. For me i think we should use electronic... save some trees :->

Anyway, i'm not sure whether you did but for me i usually will just throw off those card after Chinese New Year.

Quah, Seng-Sun said...

TZ, if only it's that simple. There are still folks out there who want to receive greetings the traditional way instead of electronical ones....