Depending on who you are, this coming Sunday could mean one of several things:
#1 (most correct) answer: My dad’s birthday!! (I love you, Dad!)
#2: Valentines Day!!
#3: Chinese New Year!!
Since I am in China at the moment and unfortunately have no access to taking embarrassing birthday photos of my father to post on this blog, let’s go with number three for now.
Sunday is the lunar new year, also known to Chinese people as “HOLY CRAP WE FINALLY GET A WEEK OFF WORK!” It is traditional during this period (also known as Spring Festival) for everyone to gather with their families wherever their home town is and, since so many people live far from their home towns, this means a massive movement of humanity around the country. This also means that during this period you should:
- Stockpile food supplies if you are staying put, since everything will be closed for a week.
- Not attempt to buy a bus or train ticket going anywhere in China for the entire month of February.
- …actually, just don’t attempt to do anything in the entire month of February. Period. It will be impossible.
There are lots of things about Spring Festival that are amusing if you’re a foreigner: everyone is in a festive mood, employers hand out decorated red envelopes with bonus cash inside (thanks, Boss!), and there is a hilariously over-the-top Spring Festival Spectacular!!!! TV show (particularly good for watching while drinking a great deal of beer).
However, for foreigners, it is generally accepted that the only reasonable thing to do during Spring Festival is leave the country entirely.
RP and I are heading off in about half an hour for 9 days to the sunny southland, known for delicious food, tropical climes, friendly people, and the worst social development indicators in Asia. Great.
You know I’ll be back with lots of pictures, now that I have my nice camera and basically look like this all the time:
But until then, Happy Bday, Happy VDay, and Happy Year of the Tiger! 新年快乐!