Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Year's Eve

I'm tired so I'll make this quick....

Today was New Year's Eve so we went to my cousin's grandfather's grave (on her mother's side, not related to me) and set off fireworks and burned paper money and offered food, etc- the reason why, I didn't quite catch, but I figure it was because it's the last day of the calendar year....?

Then we skipped lunch in order to really feast at dinner that night- we went to a restaurant, 16 of us, and had about 30 dishes total, including an endangered fish that is toxic if cooked improperly...

...There was also much wine and warm Coke (that's right. they served us heated coke.) and bai jiu -a very concentrated liquor. People were standing and making toasts about every five-ten minutes but it was fun. It was loud. Eveyone's faces were already red after the first couple toasts were made! I actually felt comfortable and welcome, for this little while.

We went back home and watched soccer- Iraq vs. China (they tied 1-1) and then around 11:45 the fireworks started- it's not like Fourth of July fireworks here; it's every man for himself fireworks- I came thisclose to getting my feet blown off by a firework set by a 14 year old when it turned on its side at the last minute and flew towards the wall instead of the sky.
I did set off a couple by myself though- about five or six, evenly timed, came out of what seemed like an enormous spitball shooter. For being a whole bunch of fire and gunpowder, it was enormously exciting.

It reminded me very much of American New Year; there's much anticipation (and a spectacular tv special) and it seems as if the Eve is much more fun than the actual day- although I know tomorrow we're going clothes shopping (of course, per tradition) and we're going to be doing Karaoke after dinner. Things are looking better here in Sichuan, but I'm still not sure how we're going to pass six more days.

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