Sunday, March 18, 2007
Beijing--although wicked cold--was really relaxing and wonderful. Since the holiday hadn't actually started yet, during the day I was on my own. I ran errands (the worst of which was paying 63A Guowang's electric bill, a job that took hours and involved waiting in a lengthy and aggressive line), and mostly went on long walks. I got to see Lin Yuzhe and Liu Chang, eat really, really amazing food with Will, and catch up on some of the sleep I didn't get in Cambodia and Hong Kong.
It was fun to watch some of Beijing's preparations for the Lunar New Year. All over the city I watched people glueing 春联 (special New Year couplets) on thin red paper over their doorways. The constant fireworks were somewhat less pleasant. Day and night (are fireworks even fun during the day?), the air was full of the cracks and bangs of exploding fireworks. I couldn't go anywhere without kids trying to scare the foreigner by setting them off just behind my head. It was all worth it, though, for the sight under our plane as we left Beijing. We left at night, and as we flew over the city, thousands of fireworks bloomed up endlessly and everywhere below us.