Today is the 31st of January 2014 and that means it’s the start of the new year as celebrated here in China. As stated in my previous posts I am staying with my uncle and his family in Guangzhou. I honestly couldn’t have asked to spend my holidays anywhere else. I have been spoilt rotten, of course being looked after so well like a queen that I have truly been able to enjoy myself to the fullest. To top up my time with my relatives, my mum came to visit for a week to finally see what China had to offer. My mum was definitely welcomed nicely during her time here and was utterly surprised by how relaxed and care-free the people of China are. I also took my mum to Hong Kong and was basically her tour guide as I showed her around the scenic spots of the island. It was so lovely to see my mum experiencing a totally different culture and living habits and of course, my mum definitely took the opportunity to buy so many things to take back to London!
The people of Guangzhou definitely know how to eat, and everyday I am seriously finding it so hard to resist eating too much when having a table full of various dishes right in front of me to tuck into. Going to banquet restaurants hasn’t died down which I thought would; we literally go to a restaurant everyday and eat dim sum, noodles and rice dishes, various meats and seafood, vegetables and desserts to finish off. I can’t complain at all, because this is the Chinese food I’ve been expecting to eat since I first arrived in China.
But moving on… the past two days leading up to today has been such fun. Apart from the usual dining out with the family, we took a trip to a great big street downtown which was nicely decorated with flowers, red paper lanterns and of course crowds of people parading up and down the street. There was so much life and fun on this night as young people were selling banners, inflatables, glow sticks and other cool things for people to enjoy the night with. At the end we made our way back home as we laughed and watched stuff on the tele together. Yesterday we went to watch a kids film at the cinema, and boy have I never seen such an awesomely glam cinema as this one! Crystals, disco lights, modernistic chairs and marble walls. It was so neat! The film we watched is called “Boonie Bears: To the Rescue” and is set from the popular children’s series Xiong Chumo about a logger who’s boss wants him to deforest a habitation in which two bears, Briar and Bramble make all efforts to stop him from doing so. The film was okay although I did sleep during the middle of it, mainly because it was too much effort trying to read the Chinese subtitles as quickly as possible, but none the less the ending was quite a good watch. After that we had a nice lunch at a Western restaurant called Mood Coral and then set of home. That evening we went to have dinner at a pre-booked spot and ate till we could eat no more. However we all had to eat very quickly as we only had the spot for an hour till the next group had to come in. After dinner, I went with my cousin and her grandparents to their old apartment which is literally just a 5 minute walk from their current one, but they had to move as they needed a bigger space. The apartment is really nice and still has a few furnishings and a piano which by no doubt I played on. The complex also has a swimming pool where everyone can go and enjoy during the summer season (Defo planning my next visit!).
Today was quite a normal day but with lifted spirits all around. Waking up today, I was bombarded with envelopes from my Uncle and Aunty, Grandma and her sister. It is tradition for the married to give money to those who are still single in hope that it will bring good luck to them. Ah if only we had this tradition back in the UK ayy! Another tradition during this festival is for people to stock up on orange trees, flowers and snacks, again because this is a sign of good luck and fortune. To explain this further, the chinese word for orange sounds similar to the Chinese word for wealth and also because the orange symbolises “gold” they believe that having a potted orange tree around the house will bring then good fortune for the year. This day was meant to be the coldest day of the year as has been for many years, but today was so hot and lovely! But that is all I have to say for now and to everyone I wish you all a very good year (again).