February 13th, 2010
And so we’re preparing to celebrate the advent of the year of the tiger down here in Chaoyang District. It’s the first time my wife has spent the Chinese New Year away from home, the first time I’ve spent it in downtown Beijing since fireworks were allowed back within the Fifth Ring Road. We’ve hung our 福 characters and couplets and set off a role of firecrackers for that. lzh has most of the food ready waiting for friends to come and help her wrap jiaozi. Our supplies are ready for the evening, and friends promise more on the way. I have more firecrackers waiting for midnight.
And then we get up early tomorrow morning to head for the airport and catch our flight to Auckland. I’m guessing that between fireworks and the early start, we’ll be doing most of our sleeping on the plane.
Bad news from home means the first week of our trip is going to be rather more sombre than we were hoping. The timing could be worse, though, as this time round we get to be there without having to scramble around looking for last minute flights, seeing as we were planning on being there anyway. And it will be interesting to see how lzh copes with being surrounded by my mother’s rather large family. Grandma will be leaving behind seven children and…. I can’t remember how many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. A lot, anyway. Still, it’s going to be far from a good start to the Tiger Year.
So we’re all packed up except for that last minute stuff. A taxi has been booked so we don’t have to take our chances. Tomorrow just short of midday our plane takes off, and 13 hours later we’ll be in Aotearoa – the first time in seven years for me, the first time ever for my wife.
Assuming anybody still reads this blog: Happy new year to you all!