Home For Crimbo
Living in China, so far away from home, you learn a lot. One of the biggest things you learn is how great stuff back in England is. You appreciate so much more; your family, PG Tips, the green cross code, Walkers cheese and onion crisps, your grandma's cooking, your friends, Eastenders and Sunday newspapers, to name but a few. These are things that (I think) we take for granted everyday of our lives. It isn't until they're not there anymore, that you realize they're quite irreplaceable. Oh how I look forward to hearing the familiar opening tones of the Coronation Street. It sounds sad, but these are things that us English have grown up with and however insignificant they may sound, represent home to us. The sounds of Coronation Street are as soothing to me as the smell of Sunday lunch, and the sound of lawns being mowed on the weekend and GMTV.
So yes, I will be happy to escape Beijing at this most special time of the year, and then I'll be back and ready to celebrate the biggest Chinese festival of the year - Chinese New Year, on February 14th. This is usually the time that I catch a flight home to see my family, so I've never actually experienced the beginning of the Chinese New Year from China. I hear there's lots of fireworks, drinking of the Baijiu - a very, very strong liquor, that tastes like what I'd imagine lighter fluid to taste, and watching the celebrations on TV with the family. So after a family Christmas in England, I'll be flying back to my new home for Chinese New Year with my boyfriend's Chinese family.
Now this sounds like a much better arrangement than the past two years; Expatriates doing their best to conjure up some festive spirit in China, and just ending up very drunk, and then being in England in January and February, when the sales are good, but the weather is cold, and everybody's penny pinching and looking forward to the summer time, just isn't quite the same.
Yes, this year will be good.