Knowing many of you are partaking in colorful celebrations this week, Diane and I would like to extend a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year to everyone no matter where you are. Sadly, I am sitting at a mostly empty house in the very non-Asian town of Walnut Creek, California waiting for February to end so we can finally sell this house, file our MM2H Visa and get the heck out of Dodge City. (Sorry: One last cheesy American slang expression). Although San Francisco does put on the largest Chinese New Year’s Parade in America, The Experimental Expats will be celebrating with some frozen Kung-Pao Chicken and Fried Rice courtesy of Trader Joes, our local processed food mecca. Can you see why it’s time to get outta here?
Of course America never does anything the way the rest of The Earth does so unlike much of Asia where businesses shut down for a week allowing for family celebrations, today is a normal two-hour commute here in the land of Never Ending Work. In fact, the so-called “Chinese New Year Parade” will be held on March 7th, a full ten days after the real holiday. Why? Because this nation stops for nothing, works through everything and believes that life is about obtaining the most material objects possible and then never retiring to enjoy anything anyway. Stores are open on Thanksgiving Day and it’s only a matter of time until someone invents a way to keep retail alive on Christmas Day.
So for now, we spend our last Chinese New Year in a very non-Chinese environment and look forward to spending 2016 among thousands of revelers that understand the true meaning of the holiday. Taking some time to reflect on one’s life and look towards the future represents the true spirit of Chinese New Year (along with some red envelopes of course). With apologies for the bastardized American pronunciation which is a Cantonese version:
Gung Hay Fat Choy !!
Coming next: The adventure starts as vendors arrive to pretty up our house
While perfectly willing to undergo a cultural transformation of the highest degree when we move to Malaysia in a few months, I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss North American sports. Fortunately, America’s proudest moment and shining star of entertainment worldwide has become Super Bowl Sunday. Watching the event morph from the championship game of a once great sports league into a worldwide showcase of glitz, glamour and multi-million dollar marketing often makes me sad and longing for simpler times. Fortunately, one aspect of my childhood will return. Long before Katy Perry was born they played the game early on a Sunday afternoon like any other game.
Starting next year and thanks to the curvature of planet Earth as well as the concept of live television, Diane and I can finally skip the ten hours of pregame crap, wake up and flick on the game at 7:30 AM on Monday morning. Bidding a fond hello from yesterday to those reading from anywhere in Asia, Diane and I welcome you to the primary entertainment showcase of the year. For the record, we cheer for Seattle. But this day is not really about football in America. Basically a national holiday for the over-consumption of beer, junk food, and all the other crap that makes America’s population the world’s biggest collection of Type Two Diabetes candidates, Super Bowl Sunday is a uniquely American institution.