Well, it’s been a while. I’ve been off on my travels, first to Dubai and then to Guangzhou for Chinese New Year. My return to the blog has been complicated by the lack of a domestic computer from which to publish from, which means that I have to use my work laptop to write this. Once I’d managed to extricate it from the deluge of emails and other that had accumulated.
But enough… more of the travel. So, first up, Dubai, the surreal city in the desert… but not Las Vegas. Dubai was impressive and yet, hollow, I guess that is how I’d describe it. Everything is so new, yet there isn’t enough to fill it. Still, there was enough to eat well, relax, cruise in the desert and loads of really good night spots. For anyone working out there, you have the time of your life 🙂
4 days of Dubai gave way quickly to a flight to China, and for those watching the weather recently, China has suffered a bit of a cold spell over the Chinese New Year, with many people being stuck in Guangzhou unable to go back home. There was also snowfall in the north of Guangdong, which I am told is is the first time in many years. This was then compounded by the fact that in this part of the world, people normally require air-conditioning rather then heating and so most houses have no central heating. With temperatures between a very damp 3°C and 6°C, the cold permeated everywhere.
In spite of all this, Chinese New Year was celebrated by all, with the usual TV Show and the various fireworks. Despite being banned in the city due to safety concerns, the local military post managed a good display, and it has to be said, being on the 18th floor of a tower block and seeing fireworks explode at eye-level is a new one for me :).
For those not able to make it home, China Telecom provided a free set of phones to call their families. Chinese New Year is a very important time for getting together with family, much as some people consider Christmas in western countries. With the the national holidays being short and infrequent, people really try to make the most of this time.
I also managed to see the firework display on the Pearl River in the centre of the city, thanks to the efforts of my nephew and friends, we manage to view the fireworks from a rooftop vantage point near the river. Photo efforts also here.
I would like to mention the silly amounts of fire-crackers set off by people in places, but there may be a conflict with the local city ordnance 🙂 I will say they are loud and I’ve never seen the like before, I will also say that they need much longer fuses you crazy people!
For all who celebrate it, and to my family: