Getting ready for the new year here is much like how everyone back home prepares for Christmas. My husband and I went to Metro the other afternoon to get some things. Technically, it was a working day, but his schedule is flexible. We figured it would be a breeze since everyone else would be shackled to their desks or assembly lines. We did not want to wait until the weekend, when Metro would be transformed into a zoo with aisles of food and such instead of animals for the masses to gawk at.
But even at 2pm on a Wednesday, it was pure insanity. The parking lot alone was a feat to conquer. Somehow, Jeremy managed to snag a spot at the very end of the lot. There was still snow and ice on the ground and other cars were sliding and honking, adding more to the chaos. Inside, people were everywhere, swarming about the displays, searching for the perfect gifts to bring their relatives for the new year.
Jeremy had already planned ahead for that. All we needed were some grocery items. We actually gathered what we needed quite quickly. Then we had to settle into a line. And the lines were loooooooooooooong. The man behind us was fascinated with how beautiful Raelynn is. He kept smiling at her with his decaying teeth. At least he was kind though. A few lines over, some screaming erupted. A fight was about to break out. I stared at the people, bickering away about who was first in the line and honestly, it reminded me of home. How many times have I seen that before? It was just in a language that was not my own now. Ah, just like Christmas shopping back home! The most wonderful time of the year indeed!
For the start of Chinese New Year itself, which officially began yesterday, we of course had to go to my in-laws' house. They added some new decorations which looked rather nice for what it was. Certainly not my taste but at least it looked less like a crack bunker and more like someone lived there.
Unlike my family, my husband and his family won't crack open the beer until it's time to eat. But I didn't need any beer to keep me amused with some of the things we found on the TV. My in-laws have basic Chinese cable. I know I've mentioned before that even my husband will tell you that Chinese TV is extremely boring. It truly is. But some of it is so insanely horrible, you just have to see it. For example:
Soon, MIL began bringing out some food and now we could crack open some bottles of Tsingtao. We all know she's not the best cook. At all. But during the Chinese New Year, she makes her very best dishes. I must admit I'm kind of worried about her. During the previous 2 years, she really made some incredible things. But now she's kind of floundering. Maybe she didn't feel like doing the work? I don't know. In any event, here are some food photos:
this piece about his visit to China and you really should go read it just to hear what he has to say about the food. Honestly, he sums it up perfectly.
After my obligatory last bite, I passed the rest of the time by drinking lots of beer. And laughing at more of the cheesiness they aired on TV. Because there really isn't much to do aside from that. I wonder if everyone's Chinese New Year is boring because Chinese people aren't very interesting (and don't think I'm being a bitch here - that is something that has come out of my husband's mouth!) or if it's because my in-laws are the most mundane people in existence. In any event, I managed to amuse myself with the TV crapfest. Here's a look at that:
We have this lady and her hair. This absolutely fascinated me. Maybe it's a wiglet?
You won't believe it...
Celine Dion! No fucking way!
Yes, that is the ultimate in excitement for our Chinese New Year, that Celine Dion was on Chinese TV and sang in Chinese. Also, that when we got home, despite all the fireworks, which honestly seemed like much less noise this year, Raelynn went right to sleep when I put her in the crib. Wow. We're walking on the wild side!
I'll finish this post with one last picture...the cutest picture of the cutest little girl ever...here's our special dumpling! Happy Chinese New Year to you all!