Chinese New Year

Trip Start Jan 05, 2007
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Some pictures & videos of chinese new year in Dalian.

So chinese new year is upon us. No wonder gun powder was invented here. They probably use the most in the world. Even more gun powder then the states you say? I'd reckon so.
Anyway, as i was saying, the new year's eve night was a constant barrage of explosions. In the hours around midnight there was an explosion every second, and that's no exaggeration. It was unreal. My appartment felt like it was being shelled at times, there were fireworks going off just right outside the window. I'm on the 15th floor here and some fireworks were being left off right at the bottom of my building so i had a front row seat. I'm pretty sure i've lost some hearing from that. Some of the videos i got are class.
So that night, i went up to Ben and Steve's house. Ben's from Australia and Steve is from England. There was a good crowd at it; the rockies posse - Kelvin, Grace, Jen, Evan, Cat, Jake (new teacher), some of Steve's korean friends, Paris (as in - one night in...but not cos this paris is a guy), Wayne, and others i can't recall. I was quite drunk. The night consisted of beer, learning majhong(sp?), beer, drinking games, beer, letting off fireworks, and then onto the nep bar. Before 12 we went out to watch all the fireworks and let off some of our own. Drunk people with fireworks is not a good combo. I won't get into any incidences but one involved me losing a shoe for a few minutes...
after that we headed to the nep bar for some drinks....by the way, al was home sick in bed that night. He had eaten some cookies that were no doubt stale, but it's al. He just can't help it...

the next day, with al feeling a little better, i decided i should actually show him a little of dalian besides the insides of numerous bars. So since the variety of touristy things to do in Dalian are lacking (dalianese friends don't kill me!) labour park it was to be.
Labour park is basically a park in the middle of downtown with a big football in it. Have i said before how Dalian is football crazy? They have quite a few football monuments. Manchester City's Sung ji Hai hails from this glorious city.  So that day, the powers that be had decided to start charging 20 kuai into labour park (TIC afterall). The excuse was that there was some fair on. Well that wasnt a good enough excuse for us so we set about trying to break our way into the park. That didnt exactly take much effort, we just walked around the park to the back and climbed over the fence. I love stickin' it to the man.

so as i was saying we made our way into labour park and down to the big football for some pretending to head the ball snaps - . After that we went to the fair. This basically consisted of a really tacky plastic gold buddha and some flowers or i don't know what, and some hawkers selling crap. Wow really worth 20 kuai. So we messed around there for awhile and then left safe in the knowledge that this 20 kuai wouldn't be lining the pockets of some communist overlord!

That evening i had arranged to meet the rockies crew again for a all you can eat hot pot dinner for 28 kuai. Also all you can drink. So we headed to that and drank and ate. The restaurant was ok, nothing special but we took advantage of their policy none the less. After that me and al went back to Cat's with Kelvin and Evan to play a riveting game of Risk. For those that don't know the game (and i didnt before then), it's involves you trying to take over the world with your armies. I was promised a drinking game, what i got was not. At about 3am we called it a night and went home...

the next day was pretty uneventful, i think al and i watched a film. It could have been Apocalypto which, although sounding like a HB ice cream, was pretty good. Just an action film though, nothing deep. That evening we headed to Xinghai for a fireworks extravaganza.  I read and heard from a number of sources 8pm kickoff but it turned out to be a 7.30 start. We took the luas type train down to it. That in itself was a battle, with an ungodly amount of people squeezing onto the carriage and fights nearly breaking out. We got there for about 7.55 just in time to the see the last few fireworks explode. This was pretty impressive and i thought it was just the start. But when a million chinese people starting away from where we were going i knew something was up. Great, all this way for nothing!

So today i went skiing with everyone (minus al) again to a place nearby. Just 30 minutes away. We arrived there at about 8am but it was pretty disappointing as it wasn't really snow but slushy stuff. Really icy in parts which made it kind of dangerous. Still it was fun and bearable until about 1 or 2 when it got really slushy and wet and we gave up. I've really got the hang of snowboarding now. It's like 2nd nature. I only had spills a few times when i tried to do some
tricks. This was my 3rd time on the slopes and 2nd time snowboarding so not bad...I think it'll be the last time this year anyway.


This evening Al has gone to Beijing to catch a flight home on Thursday. It's been good having him here, even though we got on eachother's nerves on a number of occasions...also he can cook a mean spaghetti bolognese, so i'll miss that.
Tonight it's really misty (mist or sulphur from the fireworks?) so i can hardly see anything from my window but i just had a barrage a few minutes right up close again and my ears are still ringing from it.

so since i've gotten back i've played two games of football and watched about 5 films. I really need to start studying again.
Next saturday, Mikey, one of my irish brethern here, and the Dalian Wolfhounds coach, is getting married to a Dalianese girl.
That should be a fun day.

anyway i'll let you know. Take it easy.
philip
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