Last night was New Year’s Eve according to the Lunar Calendar, marking the beginning of the Year of the Rat. Some people also call it the Year of the Mouse, and especially Walt Disney is using that with lots of Mickey Mouse related New Year’s events and ads for Hong Kong Disney Land.
We stayed in Shanghai this year, because a 6-week old baby is a bit too young to take to a South-East Asian beach resort, or to fly to Beijing to meet Grace’s family. However, her parents are here now to take care of Scott, so it was still a family event. Like every Chinese family we had a big dinner, and after that the family gathered in front of the TV to watch the New Year show. This program, that is rumored to be the most watched (non-sports) TV program on earth, features stand-up comedians, dancing, singing and acrobatics. To me each year’s program is similar, although the themes are a bit different (of course this year the Beijing Olympics were part of it).
It’s not my favorite program (and that’s an understatement), so I was happy that Gary and Yang Lei decided to drop by. Yang Lei and Grace played with the baby, while Gary and I sat in my study smoking nice cigars and drinking a New Zealand red wine. We talked about the past year, and our plans for the coming year(s). Always nice to reflect on what has happened to Tudou, and where it is heading. Around 10 PM the fireworks outside got so loud that I had to close my window (I opened it for the cigar smoke) and around 11 PM even with the window closed it was difficult to talk.
Gary and Yang Lei left around 11:30, so they would be home in time for the new year. And in time to pack for their mini-vacation somewhere in South Asia. After that I got my camera and made some shots of the firework that was set off outside. The sounds and lights amaze me every year again, especially because the fireworks are a lot heavier than the ones that are allowed in Europe. I put a short clip on YouTube (shot from our 37th floor balcony) so you can get an impression of what was going on outside. Happy Year of the Rat to all my readers!