Well, I've been doing something I haven't done for a very long time... going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 7am. Guess the jet lag's still a presence.
Guang Zhou's definitely changed since I've been here last (6 years). It's a lot prettier than it used to be: a lot of the buildings have been re-done for the Asian Olympics that were held here a couple years ago, the roads and sidewalks especially seem to be in better shape- there's hardly any trash on the streets or sidewalks, there's more freeways, the subways have been re-constructed and added to, and there's a lot more shopping centers too.
It's nice though there's still parts here that's still familiar to me. I went to my aunt's the other day and it was nice I recognized the subway stop and her apartment entrance still looks the same.
The other day we went to the Rose Lane for Chinese New Year festivities. Rose Lane is pretty much how it sounds, there's a lot of stands set up with flowers (real and fake), food, light-up toys, and other things people walk around. I was curious as to why would there be
stands of flowers for celebrating the new year. I guess it's because for the new year, you're supposed to buy flowers to place in your home and if the flowers bloom on the day of, it's good luck. However, I noticed, many of the flowers for sale were already bloomed or were fake. There were a lot of people walking around, but we went on the first day, which is the least busiest of the days. People here start celebrating Chinese New Year three days earlier. Rose Lane is set up and open day and night up until the new year. On the day of, the city is usually quiet because people have either already left to go back to the countryside or are celebrating with their families at home. Then people get off 7 days for the holiday.
All in all though, I've really been enjoying myself. It's been really nice being around so much family now. I've been spending a lot of time with my little (second?) cousin, Owen. He's the son of the cousin I'm staying with here. He's 9 right now and just adorable. I'm surprised he remembers me, since he was only 4 the last time I was here. He even wanted to stay up and wait for me the night I got in.
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