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February 24th 2008
Published: February 25th 2008
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 Video Playlist:

1: A snippet of 7 hours of mayhem 101 secs
Adventuring in the hutongAdventuring in the hutongAdventuring in the hutong

On Beijing's hottest day in months. Sweltering temperatures of around 10. And the lanterns look nice too. Hot.
Hey all.

We couldn't resist another blog. Chinese new year in Beijing. Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks and fireworks. And, did we mention fireworks?

No, I don't think we did. Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks, fireworks and fireworks.

For a short time, Zac was completely hairless (not to mention his balls were blown off at least 3 times). Haidian hospital knows us well. Sof kept all her limbs by the use of a fireproof, full-body sombrero.

Hats off (excuse the pun) to the taxi drivers who don't even flinch when the works are being fired at their cars.

Anyways, we have posted a less-than-2-minute video of the fireworks from our apartment window. This is just a sample. The celebrations went on for 15 days. Yes, 15 days. But the most intense was the 7 hour period over New Year's Eve (caught on camera).

The other photos are random things we did during these 15 days.

But now,
Busy streets of New YearBusy streets of New YearBusy streets of New Year

Not a single car in sight in either direction, and yes, this is still Beijing, not Adelaide
lantern festival has arrived, we ate our glutinous rice balls to celebrate and now fireworks are banned (officially anyway).

Happy Year of the Rat (or mouse or small rodent or whatever).

Z and S.

PS. Sorry there are no photos of a hairless, ball-free Zac; it/they grew back too fast. Thanks to Chinese herbal medicine doctors.


Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


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Little girl and fireworksLittle girl and fireworks
Little girl and fireworks

We believe that 'Safety first' was the motto of this year's fireworks campaign, particularly in regard to children. The government has also decided that they don't want the olympics anymore and there's no more pollution.
The tranqil temple fairThe tranqil temple fair
The tranqil temple fair

How's the serenity? Zac with Irene (the woman who helped us out at 4am when we'd been in the country 20 minutes), her husband Anthony, and their son Victor.
The side showsThe side shows
The side shows

The temple fairs are alway a highlight of new year, with fluffy toys and dodgy side-shows in abundance. However, the temple of tranquility does get somewhat transformed into an area of crazy capitalism and tacky souvenirs.
Trying the tacky side showsTrying the tacky side shows
Trying the tacky side shows

Zac lost a vain attempt to roll the balls down the slide. But sof won her mini golf (not pictured because Zac is a lazy bastard when it comes to the camera).
What a prizeWhat a prize
What a prize

Sof's mini golfing prize was just as tasteful as the Market-Buddhism where it was won
A food that we didn't catch the name ofA food that we didn't catch the name of
A food that we didn't catch the name of

The noodle house people, you know, the one's that we buy food from almost everyday, well, they gave us this food as a present and it's tasty but we don't know how to say it
Lantern outside the compoundLantern outside the compound
Lantern outside the compound

And James Dean. No wait! That's not James Dean! It's Neo! No, wait! That's not Neo! It's Tom Cruise???? Too tall. And too sane. Must be Zac. No wait!


25th February 2008

Maltose cake
the sweet present Zac got from his local eatary Qiong Guo Tang is actually maltose cake, which is made form millet and barley, mixed with sesame seeds after fermatation, steaming, kneading and pressure cook. Originally from Xi'An (there the terracota worriers were found).
25th February 2008

Wow!
Pretty fireworks on the video, but it sounds like a war zone! So glad to hear that you guys survived! Crazy. And it looks really cold there!!! So looking forward to coming up to see you guys, not so sure about looking forward to the weather!! Zac those black gloves you've got on look like they'd fare quite well in the Artic!
26th February 2008

warzone?!
i'm sorry, did you say new year? i thought you had suddenly been caught in the midst of some kind of warzone... have you mysteriously jumped ship to kosovo?? oh my goodness, that was insane. makes spanish fireworks look positively pissy. xxx

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