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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Happy New Year or The fireworks stand in China town are making money today.


Today being Chinese New Year I thought I would have a cup of tea, eat a fortune cookie (yes I happen to have one) and have a glass (bottle) of wine but then I do that everyday to celebrate something. Today February 3, 2011 is the first day of the Chinese new year - Year of the Rabbit. The formal name is XinMao. The Chinese calendar dates back to 2600BC and is the oldest known calender.

Who cares you say. Well since China comprises more than 15 percent of the world population not to mention the millions of Chinese scattered around the world I would say it would do well to pay attention to what they do. From where you sit you can reach out and touch something made in China that is unless you are sitting naked in the desert but even then you are breathing the air they exhale.

There are approximately enough babies
born in China each year to repopulate New York state. There are more cigarette smokers in China than there are people in the USA. I read that at the rate of growth currently in China of the use of oil by 2020 there will be a need for 3 Saudi Arabia's. Don't ask me to verify this Google it yourself. This is just stuff I read on the internetwebpipestubes which by the way are frozen in many areas. I don't much care.

Meanwhile the high
temperature has been 36 degrees F at the Casa Del Sol in sunny southeast Louisiana with a north wind giving us a windchill of 18 degrees F. Needless to say I have not been out riding my bike. I'm not bathing much either. I don't do cold well.

Mostly I have stayed bundled up in flannel and wool. Knee socks and shoes are part of the uniform of the day and the night as well. Except for the shoes. I take them off to go to bed.

It is suppose to be 35 degrees F tonight but it is already 34 so I guess that is busted. It supposed to be like this through Monday at least. That sucks. I have enough wood for tonight so tomorrow I have to hustle some more somewhere or start busting up the furniture. I am very aware these days of how nice it is not to be homeless although if I was I would be southbound seriously.
This a reminder that spring will come and the blue jays will be as belligerent as ever.

Oh yeah
the chicken scratches at the beginning of this post is Chinese for rabbit or so they say. There are more than 40,000 of these and I have not memorized one yet. I have read that their forth graders know at least 2000 and many can speak English or French. Why French?

When I was there 50 years ago there was a four year old that was handling the cash box and making change. Understood my American language too. We are doomed.

Blogger is being cranky about formating tonight and I am tired of dealing with it.

6 comments:

John Romeo Alpha said...

I was there about half as long ago as you, for Chinese New Year. I bought a string of firecrackers about 8 feet long and hung them in a tree, because everyone else was also doing that. Late at night we set them off and they went bangx10K and made a lot of paper bits. Happy new year to you, stay warm, and I don't think we're doomed because when we were becoming us, oil was cheap and plentiful and there were comparatively few of us. They would have been smarter to have kept riding their bicycles.

Dizzy-Dick said...

It used to be everything was made in Japan, now it is China and a lot of our US companies are moving to China.

f said...

French was a significant language in the Far East becauseof colonialism. Or trade. Or whatever. VietNam, Cambodia, Laos are all neighbors and on mainland China the Guangzhouwan area was a directly controlled territory of France until 1946. In addition Paris was a hot-spot of 'revolutionary thought' for an array of intellectual/revolutionary (and terribly middle-class) rabble-rousers. Zhou Enlai from China, 'Uncle Ho,' Ho Chi Minh were only two of the leading lights in Paris... very shortly after (if not before) world war one.

Even post world war two French was seen by many (including Americans) as 'the' language of culture - where English was the language of commerce, and German the language of the animal (my brane just went blank) sciences, French carried an air of contemoraniety, political sophistication, of urbanity.

And that's why some little kid, in an out-of-the-way store could speak Chinese, English, and French. Oh, and because dear old dad was giving up a kidney (metaphorically, mind) to pay the school costs. And that's why the kid had no 'life,' being in school when they weren't working in the fields, the shop, selling anything and everything to anyone.

Wayson Choi, a Canadian writer, has written eloquently about being a child within the (broadly speaking) North American Chinese tradition.

Now it is time to go to work.

Johann Rissik said...

I really dig those frills on your MacGyver tartan. Pics of you on the bike in that tartan please ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't do cold well either. Our temperatures have been colder than normal this Winter. It seems that I've been bundled up in multi layers for months now! We've been "camping" in the living room of our little shotgun house in an effort to save on our propane bill. There's a curtain in the doorway closing it off from the rest of the house. Phil may have predicted an early Spring, but for now Old Man Winter is still getting his licks in. It's supposed to snow today then again Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. When it clears the temperatures are supposed to drop to around zero. Right now even Texas has snow and ice so heading south probably wouldn't do much good unless one left the country.

Oldfool said...

Many Japanland companies have their stuff made in China now. I have a generator I bought from the company that makes them for Honda direct from China. The Chinese are having there stuff made in Mongolia I hear.

One forth of July when we lived in Mexico I hung a long string of firecrackers on a fence post at the end of the dock. It was a pitch black cannot see you hand in front of your face night. That string lit the entire area up. When it finally stopped there was the silence of the dead momentarily then from the shrimp boat several hundred feet away came "!OLE!".

I am aware of the French influence in China my question is why then. The French had been gone a long time 50 years ago (I think but I am often wrong).

They tell me that cold is a state of mind. Well, my mind is frozen. Leaving the country southbound has crossed it's frozen wasteland lately.