Miss Gioia

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chinese New Year Eve

It is the eve of Chinese New Year, and we are snug in our hotel room listening to the fireworks explode outside. We had a big outing today to try to find baby laundry detergent.* Along the way to the store, we walked through a very large festival and witnessed much revelry.

There were plenty of people buying plants. These mandarin orange plants are definitely a favorite. Apparently the little oranges symbolize gold coins, which is an auspicious sign for wealth in the new year. And they taste AWESOME too.

Another big favorite: pinwheels. Young and old alike, almost everyone had a pinwheel to carry around the fair. There were some inventive ones too, including some shaped like bees and fish.

Did you know that "mouse" and "rat" are the same word in Mandarin: "lao shu." So everywhere we look, we see Mickey and Minnie Mouse images this year. Most are illegal copies, like the balloon I am holding above (taken in Chongqing a few days ago). Chris tried to take a picture of the lady selling those balloons, and she immediately hollered "No No NO!" while pulling the bunch down to hide her face.

Happy year of the rat (mouse?), everyone! More pictures of today's festival are here.

*Before we came to China, I washed all her baby clothes in Dreft. But since we are here for so long, we have had to do some laundry. We used a guy on a street corner in Chongqing for two loads, and I am pretty sure he did not use hypo-allergenic laundry powder. Sure enough, Baby G was itching her head like mad yesterday - rubbing it back and forth on our chests for relief. We think that her lion hat (which was washed) made her head sweaty and caused a reaction. So we bought baby detergent ourselves to see if the hotel can wash her clothes with our soap. Hopefully.



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