Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

Having already experienced one New Year celebration in Beijing, the single greatest day on the planet, i kinda knew what to expect. This year was much like last, both in terms of our preparation (drinking), location (hou hai), and awesomeness (total). However, there were a few differences. It was ace's first one and we had a few other CNY virgins with us. It's always fun to see their wide-eyes reactions to the insanity. Also, this year seemed to be a little mellower in terms of bat-shit-crazy fireworks coming at you from all directions always. I asked some people about it, the consensus was probably the economy.

We had a group of ten that gathered for this one, double the size of last years crew. We returned to hou hai and roughly the same spot as last year. Cameras ever-at-the-ready, we claimed a small part of the railing along the lake and watched with giddy glee the scene unfolding around us.

We were pleasantly surprised to find the lake completely frozen over. Jeff had successfully wrangled us two dozen beers from a neighboring bar, ace had a bottle of Patron, and i had a bottle of wine. We brought it all onto the lake. There, for the next 90 minutes, we absorbed everything we could:, lights, sounds, joy, friends, tequila, explosions, dreams, tradition... we enjoyed as though we were kids again.

After the chaos subsided, we made our way from the ice. I fell. The bottle of wine in my backpack broke. I didn't notice, until i realized my underwear was wet. You see, it had drenched my bag, soaked through to my jacket, shirt, pants, and boxers. It was when it reached my tender-bits that i knew something was amiss. I sprung into action: shed layers of clothing, empty backpack, save camera, scream at the sky, remove glass, question what i did to deserve this. Pictures below courtesy of Tao, and a video of the evening here.

Luckily, the only casualty (other than a few cuts from the glass) was the red wine stain on my favorite shirt. It didn't help that i went to bed, bedrunkened, without remembering to clean it. At 7am, i remembered the shirt and resprung into action to began working miracles. Shirt salvaged, camera cleaned, dozens of tiny glass shards picked out of the backpack. Happy Year of the Tiger!


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