Friday, February 15, 2008


Ok, China.
Apparently the cursory summary of my trip was not enough for some of you.
You all are so demanding.

I suppose I could give you a few more details. If you insist.

Last week was the Chinese New Year. And surprisingly enough, China is not the only Asian country to celebrate such a delayed new years eve.

Korea is among the many that all but ignore the western tradition placed on January 1st. I had to work on New Years Eve and day this week.
Sadly dragging my way through the New Years haze.

However, we were given an entire week off for SeoulNal. (Korea’s name for this February celebration).

A full week off means something near and dear to my heart. A week off means vacation.
It means leaving the village, going somewhere new and different, escaping the mundane, and of course, not working for 7 beautiful days.

So yes, I scampered to China.

And there is something about China during this specific week that I had not expected. Something that I should have realized.
Some bit of knowledge that resided in the “History” section in my brain.

This tiny tidbit of information is, the Chinese invented fireworks.

Once again.
The Chinese invented fireworks.

This invented them, they love them, and they have a hell of a lot of them.

If you have ever been to the American south, you have seen fireworks.
You have seen the showers of sparks that fill the sky for several days surrounding the 4th of July. You might even think the Americans do fireworks better than the rest of the world.
That we do them right.

You would be wrong.
Very very wrong.

Never in my life have I seen the amount of fireworks I witnessed last week.
At times I thought I had skipped right over China and landed somewhere in Bosnia.

Every street corner was masked in a cloud of smoke.
Flashes of light sparked from every alleyway.
Bangs and bursts of sound rang out, echoing around the jungle of concrete and glass.

Ash rained with each gust of wind.
Possibly lead paint, it is China after.

Fireworks made up such an important part of the cities background noise that most, going about their business, didn’t notice when the flashes and bangs occurring mere meters away.

They didn’t seem to notice. They did not seem to hear it.

The Chinese invented fireworks. They put our tiny shows to shame.

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