4th of August 2017
I came to China in January. My house was not ready and the first month I spent in a hotel.
On the eve of the New Year I went for a walk around the neighbourhood.
There was something in the air. Everyone looked so happy an the excitement spread from one person to the next. A father walked ahead of me with his son. He was explaining the meaning of the new year to his son. The little boy was maybe 4 years old and I am not sure he understood much of the philosophy, but those 2 walking hand in hand I remember always. The love and comradeship between the father and son shone. This was my first experience of the bond between families in China. The bond that never brakes even though nowadays there is a generation gap.
The lion got its read ribbon. Decorating the guard was of course necessary on this day. When I see this one he always seems to be smoking! Smoking while taking care of the house is perhaps not appropriate.
I came across a beautiful florist while taking a turn into a narrow street. I had to see this one. The decorations are something. The owners were happy to see me and even allowed me take some photos. In China people are not always willing to have their photos taken but I always asked and most of the time I got a big smile and a yes.
This evening it was bitterly cold and I had put on my warmest clothes. The shawl I had made from Icelandic wool some time ago and it kept me warm during those first days, and many more, because my house, when I eventually moved in, was freezing. Absolutely freezing.
After spending some time with the wonderful couple and drinking some tea to warm me I went on. During this time people do leave the cities and go to their home towns to spend the new year with their families. For many it is the only time during the year they can be together. Many younger people work in the cities while the parents live in the villages. Then there are those who go to universities in other towns and everyone wants to spend the new year with the family. So there were not many people around where I was, but some.
I came across the fireworks shop. That was something. In every country there must be one of those. What would the new year be without fireworks.
Oh, yes. This is where you can find everything you need and here we are smiling. The young boy is the son. The father is the salesman. They are related to the florists. A big country, China is, but so small! A long and thorough speculation about what to buy, what would be the most exciting and glamorous. Eventually the young men bought a huge cake and it crossed my mind that perhaps I should head home. The fact is that I am terrified of fireworks and don´t like them at all. We did not talk much, the night was young and customers wanted to take a look of the goods.
Before I managed to get back to the hotel this beautiful young girl came to me and wanted to speak English. The excitement was there. She had already one burning and the sparks tried to catch me. I put on a brave face and we talked a bit. The young Chinese do want to practise their English and I was about the only foreigner in Fuzhou at this time. This young beautiful girl lived in the neighbourhood, just as the others I saw this evening. Her whole family had moved to Fuzhou, some years ago. They had to because the government wanted their farm for modern houses and golf courses. The families have to move on and adjust in the new environment. Her family runs a small restaurant. They all cook but the father makes the best food, or so she told me and was proud of her parents.
What an evening. My first Chinese new year, a long time ago.