Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Guo Nian Hao!

fireworks, originally uploaded by dadapunk80.
This was the view from the window in the den on Chinese New Year's eve (yes, those are bars and no, they are not there because I live in a crime-ridden neighbor; they are there to protect me from hurting myself should I try to escape in the event a fire, obviously). For the first time in 12 years, Beijingers were allowed to purchase, and subsequently blow up fireworks, to their hearts' content, and they did. (Sorry to disappoint, Mom, but I didn't participate. Laziness propped up by a feeble excuse of minding my asthma kept me inside and just peeking out the window.) But Chinese New Year is hardly a one shot deal. It's a multi-day celebration and skull-splitting, heart-stopping pops and squeals had been heard starting a week before the official day, and have continued up until last night. It would not surprise me to hear it continue through the end of the week. Aside from the blasts and bangs and the cars alarms triggered as a result of, Beijing is eerily quiet. Most of the small shops and restaurants are closed up and the subway station closest to my apartment is ghostly. There are several temple fairs happening throughout the city, but the usual streets and traffic zones have petered out to flow that even most Westerners would be comfortable with.

People go back to work on Thursday. I am looking forward to it.

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