Friday, January 28, 2011
Another cold wintry week has ended.Not that the immediate days look any brighter or warmer.Saturday is forecast to hit a maximum of 4 degrees celsius up from -2 in the morning.Sunday's low is minus 3 up to a sultry 4 degrees again.Not that it's the coldest place in China by any means.Harbin in Northern China which is currently holding its Snow Festival is a balmy -26 to -18 degrees celsius.The shot above of roast duck and the two photos below were taken on a recent outing to a restaurant in the Puxi District of Shanghai.
The big event of the year has been gearing up for the last two weeks or so namely the Chinese New Year which falls on February 2 and 3rd this year.Migrant workers can be seen dragging all manner of boxes and parcels onto trains and buses as they begin their journey back to their hometowns.Laden with goods and presents for their families which they bought from supermarkets and stores bulging with liquor,tea and biscuit gift packs covered in rabbits, which is this years animal according to the traditional Chinese calendar.
Some of those leaving literally had to queue for days to get a ticket which may only be a standing ticket on a fifteen hour trip.In some instances,people were queuing in lines for a number to enable them to queue up in a shorter queue to get a ticket in the next day or so.
The local CCTV TV station reported that more fast trains were being put on to provide a better service for those returning home.Unfortunately the cost of the faster trains is out of the reach of most of those workers returning home.As someone told me during the week putting on faster trains with more expensive fares is only exacerbating delays and problems of ticket touting and overcrowding as it's reducing the number of trains that those wishing to travel can afford.
The shot above shows some steaming spare ribs in a spicy sauce.
The Chinese New Year includes almost a week of statutory holidays and already the air is rent with the sound of firecrackers exploding.Businesses,not just supermarkets and chain stores,are having sales and special offers as people prepare to celebrate.
One luxury hotel is offering a dinner package for eight people at 388,888 rmb for New Year's Eve.The price includes a dinner of 10 courses featuring shark fin and white truffles as well as one night's stay in a presidential style suite and transportation.
The final shot shows a dish of fried rice liberally mixed with egg,shrimp, bacon and mixed vegetables.