I almost didn’t realise it was New Year, well not until about 5pm one the eve. Since I have retired I don’t usually wear a watch unless we go somewhere and I need to be at places on time, but run of the mill days, no watch. So, mostly I don’t usually know what day it is let alone what time it is. It’s good not having appointments! Anyway, once it was realised, actually I was told by Rose that it was and that we were going out. In the evening she had students in anyway till around 10.30pm and we took one of them with us to see the New Year in, here it’s not like the UK, there are no raving drunks in the streets, but there are thousands of people in the streets, they usually gather at the large local shopping mall called Mixc. We headed off in the car to the area and found to our surprise that the road had been blocked off, this was not the case in previous years, but even at this point we could see that the crowds were indeed a whole lot bigger than previous years.
I eventually found somewhere to park nearby and we toddled over to the centre, the centre itself when we arrived had just been closed off due to the amount of people already inside the complex and we were ushered outside to the road, where everyone seemed to be waiting for something to happen, by the time we made it through all the crowds up to the road area it was already 00.10am and still nothing had happened outside. As we moved down the road to see what, if anything, was going on we could see this huge sea of people disgorging themselves from the centre, there were millions of them, literally. We decided that seeing as we had already missed midnight and nothing else appeared to be happening except folk milling round being happy, we made our way back home. As is usual when I encounter crowds, I got grabbed for photos again, which I don’t mind as they are always polite and cheerful about it.
And that’s about all they do on New Years Eve here, mill around, sing and dance, but no-one overly pissed. The next day (today) we took Roses aged aunt to the local park to get her some fresh air, she is wheelchair bound, and Rose and her cousin heaved the old girl around assisted by myself and the nephew. The park was also another place that was absolutely heaving with bodies, this is the other tradition, everyone goes to the park on New Years day where they have kites, rockets etc, its a big family picnic type event. I have to say that parks here are used far more than they are in the UK, maybe because they all live in the high rises. Our day ended with a meal in the Coco Park shopping centre (steak for a change) and we then took our old friend Hong and her daughter to the airport to go back to their home town.
Chinese New Year proper is on 26 January this year and I will be in the UK then, so I’ll miss that one too, but there will always be others to come along, yes, I am expecting to live that long.
And on that note, I wish all my readers a Happy and prosperous New Year.