Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One More Chinese New Year in Asia

新年快樂! 恭喜發財! Happy new year! Happiness and prosperity!
It's Chinese New Year today, the beginning of the year of the goat. We have the day off, and had put in for a day off tomorrow also, so we could properly celebrate Chinese New Year in Asia one last time. But, as the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Even as we speak, my husband is laid up with the flu, and I'm not feeling so hot myself.

For once, we actually planned ahead of time, submitting for a day off back in mid-January, when we first returned to school from winter break, while everyone else was trying to put in for a day off this week and being denied. At the time, I had the idea to go to Hong Kong this long weekend to celebrate Chinese New Year. I could only imagine how spectacular the celebrations there would be, and we were excited to be at a place where Chinese New Year is celebrated properly. After researching the price of flights to Hong Kong, though, we had to give up on the idea -- the thought of spending about $1000 for flights for a couple of days in Hong Kong just didn't sit right with us; besides, we had just returned from a two-week trip to Taiwan, and still had travel plans for the next few months to think about. Obviously, given the current state of our health, we're glad that we didn't go through with this plan.

Having abandoned that plan, we next decided to go for a stay-cation in downtown Bangkok: stay at a nice hotel in Chinatown for a couple of nights, so we can join in the festivities and stay as long as we want without worrying about getting home. The main street in Bangkok's Chinatown is supposed to be closed all day today with ongoing parades and other celebrations all day long and into the night.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. On Tuesday, my husband began sneezing and getting the sniffles, which is how he usually starts out when he's getting sick. Wednesday morning, though, he was feeling a little better, so we headed to school with our little suitcase, prepared to head downtown after school that day. By mid-morning, however, he was feverish, achy, and completely drained of energy. He went to the school clinic for some aspirin, and forced himself to finish the school day because he couldn't afford to miss his IB classes.

So here we are. Thank goodness we had a chance at a celebration of the new year at school last Friday: 30 minutes of performances, culminating in a lion dance. In addition, tables of Chinese food were set up for purchase at the high school breezeway. The performances were not spectacular (the elementary kids were adorable, though), but the students worked very hard for them. The food, though, was delicious. It was the first time we were able to get our hands on dumplings since returning from Taiwan.

(Photo credits go to one of the school staff members.)
Lower elementary girls performing.
A close-up of some of them. The blonde girl is the daughter of a Romanian teacher.
Upper elementary girls.
Preschoolers at the performance. The little boy on the right is a Cambodian boy who was recently adopted by the MS principal and her family. The process began before he was born, and recently wrapped up after more than three years.
Part of the lion dance.
Student artwork for the new year.
Sushi is not Chinese, but I'll take it!

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