House visits during Chinese New Year can be arduous. Trevor Tan has tips to help you tide over this long weekend.
BRING A POWER BANK
Not having a power bank in this era of smartphones is like going to the swimming pool and forgetting to pack your swimsuit.
And with house visits not only physically sapping but mentally draining, having a power bank to keep your smartphone going helps keep you going too.
I mean, you can always retreat to looking at cute cat videos or checking messages on your smartphone when your relatives start asking awkward questions like why you are so fat, still single or not having a second kid?
I recommend a power bank like the iWalk Scorpion 12000X ($99) that has a 12,000mAh battery and comes with four built-in cables, so you do not even need to bring cables along.
GET A SELFIE STICK
CNY is the rare chance when all the members of the family, the extended family and even pets get together under one roof. In other words, it is the perfect opportunity for group photos.
And this is where a selfie stick is invaluable, as you would want to include everyone in the frame.
One selfie stick to consider is the Xiaomi Mi Selfie Stick Tripod ($28.90). It is both a selfie stick and a tripod, making it ideal for those mega group photos. Not to mention, it has a Bluetooth remote controller for you to easily snap the photos. This selfie stick can be retracted to fit into the pocket for easy portability.
DOWNLOAD THE RELATIVE TITLE CALCULATOR APP
Always stumped when trying to address your relatives properly in Mandarin, especially those you meet once every solar eclipse? Download the Relative Title Calculator app (available on Android and iOS, free).
As its name implies, you just need to key the relationship between you and that person into its calculator-like interface and it will give you the correct Chinese title.
For example, to find out how to address the wife of your father's younger brother, key in father + younger brother + wife. (The answer? Shen shen).
Of course, you need to know how to read Chinese. And that, it can't help you.
PLAY TRIPLE AGENT!
If you and your cousins are feeling bored but don't want to be anti-social, try playing this party game called Triple Agent! All you need is one smartphone (Android or iOS, free with in-app purchases).
It is a game for at least five players. At the start of each round, each player will be assigned a role - either a secret service agent (good) or a virus double agent (bad).
The phone is then passed around. Each player will get to do some missions on the phone that will reveal some information about the other players or even allow one to swop sides. Think Running Man-style betrayal. And at the end of the round, the players will vote who to imprison. If the player voted to be imprisoned is a virus double agent, the good guys win. If a secret service agent is imprisoned, the bad guys win.
Of course, you set the rewards or punishments for the winners and losers. Maybe no bak kwa for the losers?