Thursday, 3 February 2011

Welcome to the rabbit

Yes! This is it! The moment we've all waited for! Chinese New Year 2011! Dawn of the Rabbit!

Millions around the world are celebrating, and la famille Grit is doing it with them - in style. Here, for Travelling Aunty, all the excitement and magical wonder of this special time!

A dough rabbit, procured with no expense spared, from the overpriced CitySuper.

Shark proudly displays the family rabbit while Dig laments the loss of a month's salary and we discuss who gets to eat the ears.

Well, there was that. And the New Year parade along Hong Kong harbour. A sight which Lonely Planet apparently recommends as 'one of the finest in the world'.

I am doubting that very much, actually. I suspect the cold and truthless hand of the Tourist Administrative Service for Merciless Fleecing of Foreigners had something to do with the cut and paste buttons on the photocopied hymn sheet headed Praise for the World's Greatest Party.

From our vantage point at the bus station, it went the same way as every other parade and public spectacle we've attempted in Hong Kong, and that is broadly in the opposite direction from the one we are facing, despite the assurances of the police, the map, and the presence of several hundred dupes just like us lining the route marked out by ropes. I am learning. Routes like this are marked out purely to mislead us and keep us standing around for two hours.

This is one of the problems of Hong Kong and China. It is nigh on impossible to extract accurate information from anyone about anything. Dig shakes his head and goes on about an information poor society. I use that phrase while photographing a man in a booth.

The crowd has surrounded him. We are bored. I bet he is calling his supervisor to plead he is feeling sick, and ask if he can go home. I would do that if I were him. We might turn ugly.

But there is amusement elsewhere. I begin photographing the police making for the man next to us. He has kept himself busy waiting for the parade by setting his friend's hair on fire.

These Chinese, they have ways of merriment. Some lions pass by to loud cheers.

When the floats eventually trundle past, accompanied by a man pushing a wobbly sound system and separated by about ten minutes each, they are fantastic advertisements for holidays we would not like to take at Disneyland. I begin to photograph the clock.

By ten o'clock I am desperate for a wee and fighting off requests for ice cream. But I am sure, Travelling Aunty, that you are totally impressed with the events we have managed to deliver for you on this glorious day. If it is not enough, here is a gigantic inflatable dragon on the way back to the Star Ferry. From then on, I had only two security guards to bluff my way past and I did that with ease.

While we sat on the ferry to go home, I resolved to be like the rabbit in 2011. I will be brave and loyal! I will not be cute and fluffy, no way. Shark says she thinks I am confused and that I mean a hare. On that, you can make up your own mind.


sharon said...

Do tell Shark that there are brave and loyal rabbits in Watership Down!

Sugarplum Kawaii said...

The Rabbit it an old potato attatched to marzipan fingers smeared with jam? Yum!