So Spring Festival has come and gone. Though technically not finished (that will be on March 5th with the Lantern Festival) the break is over and classes have started up again.
I usually get the hell out of China during this time period because it is such a pain to stay here. Constant fireworks, all shops closed. Daily life is annoying. The one time I stayed in my former school for the holiday was a nightmare. Every single shop and restaurant was closed for a week except for a little noodle shop, about a 15 minute bike ride away. I didn’t know what Xiamen would be like, but I stocked up on frozen food, toiletries, fruits and veggies. I was ready for anything.
Spring Festival Eve, the night where everyone gathers and eats a big meal, was spent with friends. Mostly foreigners we made ourselves a traditional Chinese dinner, with dumplings, fish and veggies. Then we hung out, listened to my friends music, and watched the cacophony of fireworks at midnight. Dinner taken care of.
The next day, New Years Day, my friend Rebecca came over and we made cookies. I had a Betty Crocker mix I got a few weeks ago, and she brought over some oranges (traditional for New Years) and a bunch of snacks. Cookies and snack food? I was stuffed and again didn’t touch my food.
The next day, my friend Nick and I hiked a mountain with a Temple on the grounds. Tradition decree that everyone goes to temples during Spring Festival, and there were dozens of vendors selling all kinds of food and snacks to the hundred of worshipers. Again, after spending the whole day out, my own food was not touched.
The next day was frisbee practice and afterwards my friend invited me over for homemade (friggin delicious) pizza. Again, no dinner at home!
It went on and on like that for days. I think the first time I ate a meal in my own home after Spring Festival was about 6? or was it 7 days later. All the meat in my fridge had spoiled.
I guess I didn’t need to worry. Aside from a few nights of fireworks, which didn’t go too late, things were quiet in my neighborhood. I was so busy with friends and activities I barely noticed if the shops were open and closed and I didn’t touch my “disaster supplies.” I don’t know why I thought I would be huddled in my house, alone, for days but that’s what i kind of imagined. The actual event was totally the opposite.
At least I was smart enough to stock up on a lot of frozen foods. Now I don’t have to go shopping for weeks!
Glad your holiday has gone better than expected. Mine has been mostly worse, but we have been able to go to Shanghai a few times, so there is that. I’m sooo bored and we still have another whole week off. I think if it is like this next year I am going to formulate a plan like you did.
Well, you live in a pretty desolate area anyway, right. So I’d imagine that in Spring Fest it would be worse. I was lucky because my friends live and work here so they hung around. Many of the foreign teachers left but my chinese friends hung around.
How was Shanghai? I bet it was pretty crazy. I’d be scared to go during Spring Fest.
Loved the pictures. Thanks for describing and sharing. And making me hungry.