The Chinese New Year celebrations last night heralded in the Year of the Snake. My "soon-to-be-expanding" family here in Kunming celebrated with some traditional food (I wasn't eating too much however, after a recent and rather violent 2 day stomach upset). As ever, we were joined by Jiajia's "adopted" Uncle, a poor soul who seems to survive on handouts, alcohol and cigarettes. He left after dinner for a more convivial drinking hole and I managed to get an unusually good Skype connection with my parents. Jiajia and I then watched the huge, 4-hour Spring Festival Gala on TV, complete with a performance by Celine Dion. She went down well - the two best known English language songs in China are her Titanic hit, "My Heart Will Go On" and "Happy Birthday"! Jiajia was in stitches at some of the tacky comedy sketches, the likes of which haven't been seen on British TV since those corny 1960s variety shows. But I did manage to chuckle at one joke poking fun of the Chinese leadership; A Chinese ship was captured by pirates. "How much ransom do you want?" asked the government official. "Half a million yuan" replied the pirates. "Look, we'll give you a million" agreed the official, "but you have to give us a receipt for 2 million" ... a less-than-subtle reference to the padding of expenses bills by corrupt officials - I'm amazed that got past the censors! Happy Chinese New Year!
About the blogger
Past blog entries