We pretty much have a three (or is it four?) year tradition for New Years Eve… and it’s not what you’d expect from adventure-seeking folks like us. Quite the opposite actually! We stay in, order Papa Johns, and watch movies. You see, over here in Asia, we work for a Chinese company, and that means that work goes on as normal over Christmas and New Year. Over the last few years we have seen a drastic increase in the interest shown in both holidays, but sadly, not for the reasons that you would hope. Christmas is fast becoming a tacky day which revolves around really cheap decorations, Santa Claus, and Christmas trees. Every year the day becomes more and more popular, but all for the wrong reason, and therefore all in vain. In fact, the “Merry Christmas” window stickers and some of the Christmas trees stay up well into July – only washing out the “holiday” even more. New Years Eve has now become yet another day that Chinese folk feel they need to let off infinite amounts of fireworks. It seems that fireworks are all about noise over here, so this year, living on the 5th floor, not the 24th, meant that I lay awake until well after 2am, while fireworks shot off outside our windows and on the ground below. You’re probably imagining the big amazing fireworks that fill the sky with colors and shapes – nope, not over here, the fireworks are pretty much little red tubes that made loud explosive noises on the ground. Worst of all, they are let off anywhere and at anytime. You’ll be walking along the sidewalk when suddenly something explodes tree feet away from you. When I read those status updates on Facebook from angry friends back at home who can hear fireworks being let off “somewhere in their neighborhood”, I have to chuckle and think “First World Problems”. Here I am, worried a rocket launcher might my kid’s stroller while I am out walking. Honestly, it feels a bit like a war zone when a holiday approaches!
I have to admit, I enjoy our mellow new Years Eve tradition, but this year I wanted more. I wanted to get out, socialize and enjoy the night away from our apartment. Despite my desires to dance the night away, we stayed in and ate pizza like we usually do. My wish to socialize on New Year’s Eve was a little far-fetched (and Justin knew it), because we had no one to meet up with, and nowhere to go. Pretty lame, right?! Holidays just aren’t the same over here. Christmas doesn’t have it’s same warmth without family and friends, and New Years… well, no one likes to party alone when it’s -5 and so polluted that you need a mask to go outside!
If we worked for a non-Chinese company, I’m pretty sure that we’d be on the first flight out of here for Christmas and New Years. I’d love to celebrate New Year’s Eve somewhere warm – like I’m used to – partying it up, instead of bundled up. The superstition is that how ever you spend new year’s eve is how you’ll spend the rest of your year. I spent mine indoors and really frustrated… and so far this year has been exactly like that! All 14 days of it. Fortunately I don’t really believe in superstitions, so here’s hoping the year picks up…
What are your New Years Eve traditions?
Do you have any?