It’s almost Chinese New Year

The adventures of Bill in Beijing…

They really do things on a big scale here.

The city has been crazy the last few days. CNY (Chinese New Year/Spring Festival) is on the 8th, which means about half the country is on the move right now. Literally half the country or so. In 2015 there were about 50 million Americans travelling for Thanksgiving. Well here, about 750 million people are in the process of making 3 billion trips.

Yeah, 3/4 of a billion people are making 3 billion trips right now. Down south, in Guangzhou, they had a problem with some unexpected bad weather and people got stuck at a train station. How many? Oh about 100,000 people, at one train station. Beijing has over 20 million people living here, and in within the past week or so, about 10 million people have left the city. More than the entire population of New York City has left town, basically, since the weekend.

What’s really wild is that it’s the most well organised, and well behaved, flow of people imaginable. There are massive groups of people moving around the city, and there are no problems to be seen. A gazillion people and it’s a tea party compared to Black Friday in the states.

Then there’s the fireworks…

Holy hell it’s like Afghanistan with pretty lights here. Over night, or two nights this past weekend, fireworks tents just appeared. There’s one on almost every block from what I’ve seen. They’re filled with the most ridiculous fireworks that people just buy by the armful as they walk down the street. Last night and this morning the pace has picked up. 7AM, 6PM, 2AM, it doesn’t matter, people light off fireworks. Everyone says it will be crazy by the weekend. I’m not quite sure how they don’t burn down half the city every year.

Remember the little quaint courtyard my window overlooks? Where people do Tai Chi in the morning? You need body armor to go there now. lol


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