Sunday, 10 February 2013

Day 41 - Chinese New Year

10th February 2013

Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy Chinese New Year!

Today I headed out with my darling friend Bex and her housemates to Chinatown for Chinese New Year. We had at first aimed for Trafalgar Square as there was a big stage and lots going on. Our plans were thwarted slightly due to the consistent, utterly miserable, typically English rain. Everyone had their umbrellas out and we couldn't see a thing, especially Bex who is another of my teeny tiny friends.

In Chinatown we were generally squished and squeezed on all sides by the huge crowds there. We heard the drums and saw an occasional flash of a Lion doing a dance, but could never shift ourselves to get a proper look, which was a little sad. After awhile we inevitably succumbed to the desire for Chinese food, unsurprisingly every restaurant had a massive queue out the door. We wandered around briefly and then decided that as everywhere had a queue we might has well just pick one and get in it. So we did. Unfortunately for us, after about ten/fifteen minutes of waiting people started pouring back out of the restaurant saying that the kitchen had blown up. Our view of the restaurant showed us the kitchen and that that wasn't entirely true, but soon we were informed that there was in fact a small fire going on and the premises had to be evacuated. There wasn't much room to evacuate to as a Lion had just started dancing in front of the restaurant opposite, so we just lurked a little and tried to decide which queue might suit us better this time. It was at this point that the fire brigade turned up. We were squished and squeezed further, but happily this time, to a slightly quieter spot.

We waited briefly at our new chosen eatery before being seated swiftly. Thank you small fire at the last place! This place was yummy, and I will be going back. It was called Four Seasons (imaginative) if you are ever stuck trying to choose a place.

This is some cabbage hanging from the doorway of our restaurant. From what I gathered from the little old lady passing by who saw us looking at it, the cabbage symbolises fortune, as the two words sound similar. In the Lion dance the Lion jumps up, eats the cabbage, then spits it out, collecting the red envelope which contains money. This symbolises luck and fortune for the business. We were sat too far back in the restaurant to see this happening, I'm quite sad I missed it.

After our meal Bex and I decided to head home, going opposite directions at Oxford Circus. I reached Ealing Broadway, which was full of police and ambulances and had to navigate around a lot of them to get home. It was pouring and the wind was blowing. I decided rather than get annoyed by the wind blowing my umbrella inside out, I would get myself a coffee and enjoy walking home in the rain, surrendering to the fact that I was going to get wet. It was quite nice. I came in and had a lovely long read in a very hot bath and am now settling down with the housemates to watch Bridesmaids. 
A good weekend I think. Only five more days left to power through before it's half term...



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