My father's 1 of 10 children, which means that of the total of 20 uncles & aunts (including all spouses) in that generation, they bore 24 children (my cousins and my generation, not including their spouses). If you include the spouses of my cousins who are married, I think that would take it to about 32 in my generation, and the generation after that (my cousins' kids) is about 14 children. But at this point, I think I've lost count of all my nephews and nieces already.
As you can imagine, family gatherings are quite an affair. There's a saying that when you marry a Chinese person, you marry the whole village... and it's pretty evident with my family where that saying came from! With my family of 3 generations (It would've been 4 generations, but the grandparents have all passed on already)... there are about 66 people if everyone turned up to the party.
And this family's a pretty tight-knit one, meeting up once a month for a family potluck - where each family brings a dish (so you get 10 dishes on the table) and takes turns hosting the event. Kinda makes sense, so we spread the headache around of having to host sooooo many people.
Christmases are legendary with this family - the new rule is any cousin who is now working no longer receives a gift... coz as you can imagine, our parents' bank accounts must've hurt. But I remember when we were all young and growing up, there must've been about 300 presents under that Christmas tree - it was overflowing and spilling out with presents galore. A really spectacular sight, especially when you're a kid!
The thing with such a large family, and being Singaporean at the same time - we're all inevitably spread around all over the world. Especially now that my generation's all grown up and is in that "mobile" phase of life, about half of us are no longer living in Singapore. At last count, there was at least 1 family member living on every continent... but since I've left South Africa, the dark continent of Africa is no longer represented.
So it was kinda fun this week when my cousin M came to visit with her man from Melbourne and stayed with us. And then my mum emailed and said another cousin J, was also in Sydney for another conference. So then I called yet another cousin, Bee, who like me, lives here in Sydney, and we all decided to round the troops up and go out last night.
We had a fabulous Japanese Izakaya meal (kinda like Japanese tapas), then someone suggested we head to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe for dessert. Like, really? Lindt, the Swiss chocolate maker has a... dessert cafe?!?
(Their heads are slightly chopped off coz I was trying to get all the dessert in)
Apart from being a great place for their own product placement (there were Lindt chocolate bars everywhere, and towers of Lindor chocolate balls), the actual dessert menu read like a completely chocolate overload. I was getting a nose-bleed just reading the menu.
I settled on a dark chocolate & milk chocolate layer cake topped with a chocolate ganache on top. And if that wasn't enough chocolate for you, I topped it off with an Iced Dark Chocolate beverage too. The others had cakes of chocolate and orange, chocolate with hazelnut, macadamias and of course, the chocolate lava cake.
Ah! My little cousins are all grown up now! :)
It was all so rich and molten, we were rolling our way home afterwards... what a fantastic time we had catching up! We really couldn't remember when the last time was when we were all together, so these little catch-up sessions tend to get quite nostalgic.