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Kung Hei Fat Choy

Happy Chinese New Year! It is the lunar Year of the Dog. And to celebrate, we had lunch at the elegant Mandarin Gourmet in Palo Alto which serves the best Chinese cuisine in the area. For starters, we savored won ton soup and minced chicken in a lettuce cup. This was followed by moo goo gai pan, Mongolian beef, prawns with honeyed walnuts, three delicacies kung pao style and crispy Chinese eggplant shaped like meatballs. My plate was filled to embarrassing proportions but I cleaned it up except for a single broccoli.

According to Chinese astrology, people born in the year of the dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006), have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and secretive. They can also be selfish, stubborn, eccentric and are noted for their sharp tongues.

Famous people born in the dog years are William Clinton, Cher, Madonna, Winston Churchill, Liza Minelli, Michael Jackson, Mother Theresa, Linda Ronstadt, Sophia Loren, Norman Schwarzkopf, Sylvester Stallone, Shelly Winters, and Mariah Carey.

My friend from Singapore writes her greetings thus: "Gong Xi Fa Cai". In San Francisco they say, "Gung Hai Fat Choy". And Kung Hei Fat Choy is the Cantonese translation. However it is written, I wish you a prosperous year of the dog.

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