Monday, January 28, 2013

Chinese New Year

Last week for my Chinese lesson, Eric took me on a field trip to a fabric market in Puxi.  I've been to the AP Market in Pudong many times, which does have a large tailor market but it can not compete with this.  Three stories of stall after stall filled with fabrics and tailors.  You can get custom made bedding, leather jackets, jeans, suits, pretty much anything that is made of fabric.  If you see it in a catalog or online all you have to do is bring in a copy, have your measurements taken and within 3-5 days you will have a perfect copy, most likely at a fraction of the cost.  There were also a few vendors selling all kinds of silk goods, including pashminas for $5.
With the approach of the Chinese New Year decorations have been going up everywhere.  CNY is the Chinese equivalent of Christmas in just about every way.  Across the street from us, the large Christmas presents and decorations have been replaced with this years representative, the snake that changes color.  Inside the Green Sports and Leisure Center is another large snake made of Chinese coins which are supposed to good luck.  My local Carrefour had red signs everywhere advertising CNY specials and an entire isle with decorations. Red signs, fish, peppers, and lanterns are the most common.  Cardboard signs and stuffed versions of the snake are prominent too, and getting into the spirit of things we bought stuffed snakes for the kids, cardboard cutouts for their doors and miniature lanterns.

Having experienced a few Chinese holidays already we've learned it is best to either stay home and avoid any tourist attractions or travel outside of the country.  Many of our expat friends are traveling within Asia, and while seeing as much of Asia as possible is a goal for us we are super excited about heading stateside and spending time with family and enjoying all the comforts of the USA!

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