I celebrated New Year’s Eve by sharing a delicious [$2] dinner with about 20 friends and then going to a bar for the countdown.
I wasn’t too excited about the idea but as we toasted, hugged, and traded European-style kisses on the cheek, I realized how lucky I was to be celebrating with so many good friends.
Even better, just after midnight I danced the Viennese waltz with my Austrian friend Katrine. To the sound of our voices singing the Blue Danube. In the street. She was drunk, but led okay anyway. It was wonderful :) See, everything does have a purpose in life!
I went home early to get sleep before morning Mass. In just one illustration of how much of a non-event New Year’s is in China, the only Mass offered at my church was at 8:30 on the morning of the 1st. In another illustration, the year 2010 was not mentioned once in the entire liturgy. This is interesting because, while January 1st is the observed as the Feast of Mary Mother of God by Catholics throughout the world, the liturgy generally tends to focus more on the beginning of a new year. Not in China . . .
After Mass, I went shopping at 电子城 (Electronics City). I was looking for a hard drive and cell phone which was unsuccessful, but I did buy a few other necessary products. (Namely, eating takeout in front of my computer was taking a toll on the poor keyboard.)
I met Yong Zhi and Alice for lunch, but it was probably a bad day to eat out. Or, you know, leave the house. While no Chinese actually think New Year is a big deal, they all have the day off and all went out – more specifically, they all went to the Sichuan restaurant that we wanted to go to.
It was worth it, as was the trip to Coco. But then we ran into Diederik and he wanted Yong Zhi’s phone number and it took us a ridiculous amount of time to figure out the correct characters of his name (永志). So then all of a sudden I realize that it’s 1:50, and I have 10 minutes to get back across campus. I sped-walked across campus, ran up the stairs to the Overseas Education College, and made it to the ground floor of my building before my parents called. Despite me vaulting up the stairs – it was epic – I think midnight passed somewhere between the 3rd and 4th floors. That was also epic . . . an epic fail.
But yeah, other than that I’ve had a great start to the year. It’s going to be a good one, I think. I wonder where I’ll be, this time net year??