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Lantern Festival N Spring Festival Closes

  • There will be no photos posted for this entry. My LAST REMAINING memory card was full and I was not taking it anywhere near a photo shop! Apologies to you all.

Monday, 13th February 2006

Today in China is the Spring Festival Closure. A festival known as The Lantern Festival is held. People do all kinds of wonderful things like make little boats and sail them down a river whilst a flame flickers within. The strangest one and the most spectacular is the making of lanterns that are released into the skies and piloted by a candle. This strange act causes untold property damage each year. People must sit and wonder 'gee, how and why did my house burn down'. The very act of throwing fire crackers during the entire Spring Festival causes so many hospital visits by children and the unsuspected person whom innocently walks on by.

Facial burns, blindness and body burns are all suffered by the Chinese during this period. It's no wonder when an older child throws a cracker and a toddler runs over to pick it up....BANG and everyone jumps up and down in fits of laughter. Oh, so close! Sometimes the littlen even manages to pick it up and throw it again which also makes everyone jump up and down in fits of laughter. Five years ago when I was in Jinghong, the Polish couple I was with and I were eating and drinking in the 'old' Mei Mei's Café and the kids would run past and throw crackers in through the window at us. Now that was a fun time! NOT! But all in all, Spring Festival is a fantastic and fun time for all. To actually now have spent three of them in China and survived with all limbs and eyes intact is a major feat and worthy of many a beer!

Anyhow I woke feeling much better than yesterday but decided to spend most of the day in bed. The day before was so much fun that I decided to stay awhile for a repeat performance. Later I met Judy at Mei Mei's and I tried a gentle breakfast of French toast and ginger tea. The poor girl who takes our order each morning was in a fluster and made me repeat it several times before she wrote it down...No Mei Mei's Special Breakfast? Are you sure? The special breakfast at Mei Mei's Café is the greatest breakfast ever. It's an omelette filled with beacon, potato, tomato and onion. It's worth the fourteen hour freaky bus ride from Kunming just to try it and then take the next bus back to Kunming.

The afternoon was spent within running distance from the hotel room. The girls at the front desk I'm sure were amused at my frequent return visits and I'm sure gathered like a group of school girls saying,

'Ha Ha, I told you filling the water bottle from the tap would add something special to our normal day of sitting and staring blankly at the television screen. Now we get to stand up and smile each time he returns and then giggle our butts off as he runs up the stairs!'

Judy's internal workings had also began playing hopscotch so over dinner we decided it was time to head back to Guangxi. We discussed what we had both consumed over the past few days. We came up with two things. It wasn't the BBQ meat but may have been the water for the tea. They had run out of hot water and the Chinese were all screaming 'We are Chinese; we MUST have green tea within arms reach. Hurry Up!' They may not have allowed the water to boil for long enough OR Two. The hotel really had filled the water bottle from the tap. This is my guess after speaking to the owners of the Dai Guesthouse across the road. To save money it's very common for hotels to fill the large water bottles for the water machines with tap water. Lesson learnt so buy your own no matter what is offered in your hotel room.

I decided on another early and beer less night to help my internal workings sort themselves out. For hours I lay as crackers exploded outside and adults ran up and down the concrete stairs yelling and laughing. ARGH! Around 12:30am I headed across to the Dai Guesthouse for a chat with friends. The girls at the counter all smiled their beautiful yet I'm sure guilty smiles as I left the building. We sat talking about water and hotels whilst my friends continued to try and throw as much rice wine down my throat as possible. It's like medicine to them; it'll fix almost everything, just like Tiger Balm to the Vietnamese. Oh no, you lost your head out the bus window and you want it back, here have some rice wine or tiger balm, you'll be fixed up in no time. But sadly it couldn't fix my Memory Stick!

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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