Monday, February 7, 2011

The Beixin Chinese New Year Chronicles: Day Two.

Currently:
  • I saw the Packers beat the Steelers in the comfort of my apartment here in Wuxi, China, Monday morning local time.  The game was good.  The half-time show was terrible.  Why didn't they do something for the Ronald Reagan Centenary?
  • I had a real shower for the first time in a week.  My in-laws heat their water with solar panels.  Go figure.
  • Here is a photo of my in-laws.
  • Catching up on my blogging and podcast-listening seems an impossible task.
  • Tony said.
  • A great video of Tony with a girl on youku.  Or you can watch it on youtube.
  • A walk in Beixin Town.  A walk in the Beixin Countryside.
  • Tony plays with gravel.
  • The boat.
  • Tony on the boat.
 
 
Day Two of the Beixin Chronicles (the official log of my time spent in Beixin for the start of the Year of the Rabbit):
  • It is February 2.  New Year's Eve is tonight.  For the longest time, I had thought that February 2 was the first day of the lunar new year because of the dates we were given off from school.
  • Feeling useless.  As all prepare for the CNY eve's activities, I watch.
  • I do look after Tony.
  • But it is not an easy task so I have convinced Jenny to buy her parents a new DVD player.  Tony can watch his Dora DVDs.  We can now think and have some peace and quiet.  Tony doesn't know what to do with himself.
  • The in-laws compound is too close to the road.  The trucks zooming by make the house shake and shake.
  • Everywhere I go in Beixin, I hear them say "laowai!"  Jenny stops me from yelling "Zhongguoren" back at them.  She correctly points out that I am a remarkable sight in Beixin, and cut them some slack.
  • Old men pedalling their bikes down the road.  It briefly feels like I am in Mao's China as depicted in an issue of Life Magazine.
  • All the buildings in Beixin are decorated with red posters and sashes for tonight.
  • The loud pops and booms of fireworks scare Tony.
  • I take Tony for a long walk and suddenly feel overdressed.  In the evening, I need long johns and a toque.  In the day time, it gets up to fifteen degrees Celsius.
  • Said David Warren, walking is a great way to ascertain the spirit (the zeitgeist?) of a place.  I see people are moving and getting stuff.  Otherwise, it seems very soulless.
  • Tony can answer "or" questions now.  This morning, I ask him is he wants to sleep or get up.  He answers sleep.
  • My first shower of the Odyssey is primitive.  I get a trinkle of hot water from the shower head.  I later see that the in-laws' compound has a solar panel.
  • My in-laws can gut fish, cook, kill and tear apart animals for meat, and use primitive appliances skillfully.
  • I couldn't find my sock.  I looked and looked and looked.  The sock wasn't anywhere to be seen. But then it turned out I had put both socks on one foot.
  • CNY eve's supper was big.
  • Jenny's Father's brother is 84.  He was born in the year of Rabbit.
  • I smoked a cigarette from a 140 rmb pack. (I pay 5 rmb a pack)  The cigarette had a nice-looking filter, but it didn't taste expensive.
  • At supper time, I noticed the roads were completely empty because of CNY's eve.  I had to go for a walk to take in the quiet and soak in some sanity.  I then listen to a podcast about GKC and all seemed right with the world.
  • All the trash that gets thrown on the street is burnt, on the street.
  • Fireworks here seem more like explosives.  The only nice ones I saw were actually over-sized sparklers that were fizzy, colourful, and bursting low to the ground.  Little kids watching them jumped up and down in joy.
  • I spend New Year's Eve in bed with Tony.  He falls asleep around eleven.  Jenny watches television, and later joins us.  At midnight, of course, a lot of fireworks are let off.

2 comments:

Weiming Zhao said...

Greeting from Brandon, Manitoba! Interesting to read your blog, for I lived and taught high school in Changzhou, which is just so close to Wuxi before I moved to Brandon, Canada in 1991, and have lived here ever since. We seem to have switched place! Anyway, I also blog as an artist, here is my blog address http://www.weimingart.blogspot.com
Again greeting from a Chinese who now call Canada home! Weiming

Andis Kaulins said...

Thanks for reading my blog amd making the comment.

I have many questions to ask you, but don't know where to start.

But I am very curious to know what a Wuxiren thinks of Brandon.

My wife, from Taixing, has been to Brandon once. I hope she can spend a year there.