for those who travel there and back at New Year’s time, the collision of cultures (and they do collide) is felt not only in sleep(less) patterns, but in the very time frame that frames them. no other time during the year do the Chinese and non-Chinese calendars contend than at 过年， when one begins a new year not only with the first day, but roughly 15 festival days following. As this year’s New Year fell on a Gregorian Thursday, we’ve had “weekday 4” (Chinese for Thursday), + New Year Day 1 (初一), + February 3 giving way to “weekday 5” + “New Year Day 2” + February 4 and so forth. Finding our way to an airport at the right moment was a major trick.
other headspins of this trip include the almost astounding cost of things ($1000 for a bottle of wine anyone?) in urban areas such as Cixi where I was visiting for 10 days. that coupled with the ever-present pace of change. Above a typical neighborhood that once was backdropped by what its about to become in the distance.