My best friend, Ellen, asked me what we were doing for Valentine’s Day. Unbeknownst to me my husband planned a little adult get away for a few hours for us. We went to a local hotel here and just had a relaxing afternoon and then we went out to dinner. I was under dressed and I don’t mean that I wasn’t dressed up, I wasn’t but neither was anyone else there. Places here don’t like to turn up the heat so in the winter time you have to wear your coat indoors in public facilities. I forgot and while my bottom half was warm with my tights and socks on, my top half was less than warm even in my hoodie and turtle neck. I needed to have worn my thick hoodie with the fleece. Oh well live and learn. I also made a whoops, I forgot to take a picture of my dinner before I ate it. I did snap a picture afterward and it is called Chinese Test. It was an all vegetable dinner, very tasty but not the house specialty, we dined at a steakhouse. Chuck made them happy tonight by ordering steak and just like the steak house that we went to in Wanda Plaza, the steak was served with a fried egg and pasta. Today was another day to try some of the Chinese that I have learned. ‘Please take me to’ is ‘qing daiwo dao’ (请带我到) and I showed them the business card Chuck had left for me. On our way home I asked the driver to take us to the corner of ‘Longhai Lu and Gongren Lu’, ‘Longhai Lu he Gongren Lu’ (陇海路和工人路) In both cases the driver knew just where to take me and the taxi rides were major successes! On our way home today we saw another tradition that has to do with the 2nd night of the New Year and that is the burning of money to get more riches in the New Year. Of course real money isn’t burned the bills do look like the real thing, but there are differences. Anyway you draw a chalk circle on the ground then start a fire with plain paper and then once the fire is going well, you take the phony money you bought and feed it to the fire one sheet at a time. When we got out of the taxi the vendor selling the paper and phony money said ‘hello’ as we walked past. Now hearing hello is not the norm as we are in China and ‘Nihao’ is much more common. Chuck then wondered aloud why people were burning stuff in the road I said I didn’t know but why don’t we ask that vendor that spoke English to us. We by this time had passed him so back to him we went and almost like he expected us to come back he was looking after us and waiting. While I was trying to ask him why people were burning things Chuck magically came up with the answer. I teased him later cause it is almost like he is having déjà vu with some of the things here.
We found out tonight as we were turning down our road toward our apartment that the fireworks here will even work in a little puddle. From the snow or perhaps a street cleaner came and cleaned up our complex, anyway there are puddles of water near the curbs and a young boy was out with his mama and they were shooting off firecrackers and he lit it and threw it and in the puddle it landed. I didn't think that it would explode, but I stand corrected! As I was adding this a volley of fireworks was shot off in our courtyard. Super loud, fortunately I'm wearing my ear buds listening to my iPod as I write.