Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy 牛 Year

Well, it’s the a new Chinese year. The year of the Ox, 牛niu (pronounced neee-oh, well almost..), Happy Niu year. Oh god kill me. Anyway, today I introduce a guest writer in the form of my wretched owner. She has a Chinese New Year experience that she wants to write about.

So January 25th was the Chinese New Year celebration day. Imagine a week long New Years Eve celebration multiplied by Christmas plus Ramadan and fireworks that have taken a little performance enhancing druglet. Add this to a city with a population of 17 million where its citizens are only just recently embracing capitalism and generally having fun and you may be able to imagine the extreme excitement and mania that is Chinese New Year.

Fireworks start sounding off at around 10am and the resulting sound experience is:

//Bang bang bang (sonic)BOOOM *car alarm – meep meep meep * Bang poof fizzle *pause* Boom, BANG *car alarm*// and so on.

I spent the evening bringing in the New Year in between my two favourite structures in Beijing, The Drum and The Bell Tower (below is The Drum Tower, as viewed from the Bell Tower) having my ear drums disintegrate in time to the banging of the fireworks.

An old man brought along his fluffy little dog. You know the ones that are so inbred and weird that their hearts are already beating like a drum machine. Why, why would you bring it somewhere that was definitely going to scare the crap out of it? Unless that was your actual idea? More about that later… The dog was going mental.

Anyway, I like animals and was unable to resist the opportunity to photograph and film this bundle of fuzz. The owner spotted my interest and immediately scooped him up and plonked him in my arms. I initially hesitated, worrying that a firework was going to explode and little doggy was going freak out and bite me. Or shit and vomit all over me. Or die. Or maybe all these incidences would play out one after another in quick succession, a weird chain of events like some twisted chaos theory, each terrible incident setting up the conditions for the next. I’d be left covered in undesirable matter holding a dead pooch. Whilst this would all be taking place, the owner would be gazing up at an exploding firework or simply tying his shoe lace and would therefore not witness the event
. He would return his attention back to a wretched me and his dead dog and simply, erroneously assume the worst. I’d end up having to explain myself in terrible Chinese feeling like I had become Larry David. It would not be cool.

Anyway, it was fine. The dog calmed down in my arms and burrowed its little nose into the crook of my arm and tucked its little paws in beneath itself. It was returned to its owner alive and I was just covered in a bit of dog hair. A total success. I think I like dogs an extra 0.5% more.

The night was air was freezing and eventually we gave up trying to stay warm and enjoy the noise level. We ended up in bar that has comfy couches, pool tables and cats. I spent the rest of the night taking pictures of moggies 猫咪 in order to show Tabitha that there are other souls for her to mingle with.

It's February 8th, the fireworks are still exploding constantly and it's hard to keep constantly reminding myslef I'm not in a war zone.

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