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I'm determined to have as close to a Traditional Chinese Spring Festival as any western teacher without any close friends in Jiangyan can have. I went out today and started buying up decorations for the apartment. I guess you're not supposed to put them up till Spring Festival Eve (that would be January 21 this year), and then you're allowed to go nuts.

I have a scroll for the door that says "Much Money and Happiness" or something similiar, and another couple that you're supposed to cut in half to put on either side of the door. I also have tons of these little red papers that you're supposed to put everywhere. I'm in heaven, and I'm annoyed that I'm supposed to wait!

I also started buying up little dumplings. I'm going to practice making them tonight, so when Paul comes up we can go nuts over them. I know they won't be as good as the ones that he gets brought to him (straight from the kitchen!) in Rudong by his Lily, but still...

When I say dumplings, I think of these big things full of potatoes from back home. Here, they're bite sized and easy to stick in your mouth. They stuff them will all sorts of things. I really have to learn the Chinese words for Fish and Seafood, because Paul gets ill at the smell of seafood.

I decided not to buy firecrackers, on the theory that my parents will shoot me if I blow my own hand off. Besides, there'll be more than enough loud booms and pretty sparklies I'm certain. Every time I'm doing Wu Shu on the playground, I can distract myself from the pain by watching the fireworks.

When I was buying my kewl new DVD player, I was handed about 50 tickets to some sort of dance hall. I guess I in some way indicated that I like to dance, and I'm not quite sure how I pulled this off.

I showed the tickets to Lily, and she just freaked right out. "No, you can't go there! You're laowei, and bad people go there!"

Um... okay...

"You can't go there alone, people will take advantage of you! Bad people go there!"

"I won't go alone, I'll take Paul!"

"No, you're two laowei, people will... bad people!" She took the ticket I was holding out of my hand and ripped it up.

So, yeah, I'm planning on going next week. And yes, I'll take Paul.


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