Monday, September 2, 2013

Father's Day in Australia

Father's Day with a Dragon, Ox, Rat, two Monkeys and a Rabbit.

The Australians celebrated their Father’s Day last Sunday together with the first day of Spring. It was indeed a glorious day for Melbourne. With the explosion of flowers in my garden the weekend presented itself with a brilliant sun-filled carnival atmosphere.

Holding onto the old mumpsimus that the value of a present defines the level of ones love, the retail industry offered a smorgasbord of gift ideas for the man of the day. One could not escape from the barrage of advertisements; bombarding came from air, sea and land pushing everything from TVs to monogramed torches.

Our family’s notion of not participating in a commercially driven Father’s Day sits unseemly in the lead up to a day that is meant for me (yes I am a dad).  

My daughter arrived with a home-baked flourless orange cake, garnished with manicured strips of curled orange peel, topped with clear crisp icing sugar. She is meticulous when it comes to cooking or presentation of food. Perhaps being a Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac has something to do with it.

My son, the Dragon, came with his usual smile. The Dragon does not do things, it gets things done. No doubt he would claim credit to the cake by other means. He did brew a mean cup of coffee though.

The other daughter, a Rat, the industrious international traveler had decided to add to her life experience and now in a time zone that is 17 hours behind Australia. But I am sure she will be thinking of this day missing the activities.

I then have another Monkey, lost in her own world preparing for the guaranteed sumptuous dinner for me, contributed to a busy kitchen at my place. Her flair for design and ability to up-sell a normal dinner suggests yet another Monkey in our midst.

Not too long into the afternoon, my niece, an Ox, announced her arrival with yet another cake – this time the infamous Durian cake. For the uninitiated, the Durian is the king of fruits in Asia with a smell so pungent that gets the fruit banned from hotels, airlines and even rented cars. Being an Ox, she is methodical and a voluble young woman she is contributed to the festivities on this Father’s Day.

Then the Rabbit wife, fresh from finishing her famous petite Shanghai Egg Tarts, busied herself to being the wonderful host. She made sure we had the right plates and splayd for desserts which by now had filled the entire length of the kitchen bench.

For this Father’s Day the plenitude of foods can only be matched by the decibels created by the people in my home.

I must say, spending your Father’s Day at home with all these animals as well as a Dragon, beats getting a smart HDTV and certainly more relaxing than fighting for a table in an overcrowded, expensive and not to mention pretentious restaurant.

I hope you guys had just a lovely Father’s Day as mine.

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