1. Apparently a year is still not long enough to make me like fireworks again.
2. It is still amazing to me how EMPTY the city can get in 2 days. On a normal day I can see 20-30 people from my window at any point in the day. During Chun Jie, maybe 1-2. Sometimes none. It’s just weird.
3. Last week, I forgot to wash the clothes for Ayi to iron. And she was off all week for the Spring Festival. Her solution… to come on Saturday before vacation. (She normally comes on Monday and Thursday.) I tried to explain I could just do it myself. Her response: “Ni neng??” (You can??) with a look of disbelief. Then: “I’ll just come Saturday and do it.” hmm… I wonder if she’s seen my ironing. feichang bu hao.
(The photo above is definitely Ayi’s ironing.)
4. It seems really odd how everything just shuts down. Most of the stores close, the banks, and shopping. And all the people seem to magically disappear. It’s weird until you think of Chun Jie as Chinese “Christmas”. It’s celebrated differently and for different reasons, obviously, but similar in many ways. It’s a big family holiday, a time of rest and celebration!
5. The decorations that cover the city are always amazing. And everywhere! Just like Christmas at home.
6. This year we even had our own mini Harbin in Shenyang. This bad boy was huge and right outside our apartment building. I got to watch him being carved every day as I walked by.
Check out those whiskers.
And you know in China we’ve got to deck him out with multi-colored lights!
7. The best part of Chinese New Year is hanging out with friends. This year we had a taco night at our place with lots of friends. We stayed up playing games and watching the fireworks until nearly 1 am. It was a blast. The close friendships formed with people from all over the world are my favorite part of expat life.
8. There were no hotels burned down in Shenyang this year, thankfully. Although it did make the holiday much less exciting. (Above is from last year’s aftermath.)
9. I thought the fireworks weren’t nearly as loud and imposing as last year. And they weren’t for actual New Year. But apparently I forgot about the aftermath and waking up to the thousands of Black Cats and M80 explosions at 7am the last two days has made want to strangle someone. This girl is not a morning person anyway, and fireworks DEFINITELY do not make a good alarm clock!
Here’s a little idea what it sounds like. Just imagine that going on for an hour or so. I apologize for the bad glare on the window. This was taken around 9 am and the sun was still low.
**Warning: You may want to turn the volume down on your speakers if they are loud.**
Can you see how that could grate on your nerves after a while?
10. Guo Nian Hao! Chun Jie Kuai Le!