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Goat Year Special: How to buy CNY goodies without paying


As the Year of the Goat approaches, CNY goodies seem to get pricier, taking advantage of Singaporeans’ penchant for last-minute purchases.

Yet, I’ve come up with a brilliant way of getting my CNY goodies for free, by making use of Pangzi.


“Here’s the plan,” I told him in rehearsal. “When you see me asking for a sample of the CNY goodies, you ask for three samples. Geddit?”

Pangzi nodded. For the first time, I thought his innocent look was priceless.


So off we went. The crime scene was going to be Takashimaya at Ngee Ann City, where every year there would be a CNY goodies fair at B2 concourse area with some 50 stalls.

I like the CNY goodies here because they are so different from the usual pineapple tarts or melon seeds sold at your typical supermarket.

If I get just three free samples from each of the stalls, I’ll end up with over 100 at the end of the day. That should be enough to entertain my visitors over CNY. I’m sure no one would question why they come in individual pieces.


The first stall we visited was selling an assortment of cookies in interesting designs. The GREY cinnamon cookies looked good although it wasn’t really an auspicious colour.

“Ahem, can I try one?” I asked the salesgirl, casting my accomplice a glance.

Pangzi picked up my hint, and asked to sample ALL the other cookies…


…but ate them at one go.

I pulled him aside angrily. “Look, you’re supposed to put them in the bag, not in your mouth!”

“So delicious, daddy,” he said with the same innocent look.

Nevermind, we try again. 


We came to this stall selling Japanese sweet pastries.

“Ahem, can I try one?” I asked.

Pangzi took my cue and asked, “Can you put your samples into my bag?”


I quickly walked away and pretended he wasn’t my son.


“Daddy, where are you going? See, I have five samples in my bag now,” he said.

“Well done. Once you take your samples, you run. Understand?” I instructed.

He nodded. 145 more to go. 


Next, we came to a nuts stall.

Before I had to ask, Pangzi had already charmed the salesgirl into emptying small packets of nuts into his bag.

I figured he was ready now without me.


“I’m going to walk around myself. You go collect your samples and when you’re done with all the stalls, meet me near the cashier.”

About half an hour later, I saw him sitting on the steps, waiting for me.


“How many?” I demanded.

“Many, many,” Pangzi said. “But I finished them already. So delicious, daddy!”


We were here:



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