Imagine this text in red in honor of the traditional color, decorations, dress, toys, rabbits etc. that comes with Chinese New Year. There's an amazing amount of preparation. It's just like our Christmas and the Fourth of July combined. The first thing you have to do is get your train tickets to the town where most of your family resides. Now this may take awhile since the ticket offices are about the size of an American bathroom. There's no such thing as a credit/debit card swipe with paper tickets popping out. Lots of paper work, written verification, and standing in line when it's 35 degrees outside.
You may want to get on a plane with China Eastern, in which case, be sure to dress warmly as you will be whisked away into the middle of freakin' nowhere in order to board your plane. It's like they have a plane parking lot the size of Washington D.C. but forgot to build the terminal. They have some serious catching up to do. (Thanks for helping with the typing Beans...)
There are lots of things to see and do to get ready for the big day, so you'll have to get started and go shopping. On the way, be careful of trees that have been accidentally run down and consequently have become a part of new construction scaffolding. I don't think this has official approval yet. Once you get by some of the hazards on the street you can shop for cute coats for your teen girls. All girls like pink! Just outside many shops you'll see the proprietor's displaying the amount of luscious meats they can afford, and there's always a nearby ATM where you can get some recycled cash. Are you hungry yet? There are some pretty cush Pizza Huts in China, or you can save some cash and just head to a local joint and order at will. We refer to it as "point and hope" but that generally involves some pictures. It just depends how adventurous you want to be--hey, it's Chinese New Year time! Ok, back to shoppin'. You never know what'll be around the next corner. It could be one of the largest Apple stores on the planet, or maybe you'll get a chance to buy some fireworks. I thought they would be much cheaper over here, but not at all. The larger boxes go for over a hundred dollars. Although, if you want to make some noise, you can get a roll of 5000 firecrackers that will be sure to wake up your neighbors after midnight; that's when the big shows really get going!
Is everyone aware that if you click on the photos you can see a larger image?!
Next up, vacation destinations and New Year's Day/Eve highlights...wow, I didn't know living on the 16th floor allows you to see mortar shells explode at eye level! And where else but Shanghai can you stand on plexiglass and look straight down 800 feet?
Xi Nian Kwai Le (Happy New Year),