Just like the Jews, the Chinese run on their own messed up calendar. Today is Chinese New Years or as they call it Spring Festival. The week leading up to Spring Festival has been hectic. Everyone has been out and about trying to get ready. The supermarkets were packed, the roads were crowded and there are more people around than I have ever seen before.
We get a week off to celebrate Spring Festival so I decided that I wanted to take advantage of my week off and travel. One thing I really wanted to do while here in China was see the terracotta warriors. They are in Xian, about a 14 hour train ride from QHD. So I did all the research and found all the trains and hostels and went to a woman named Grace, who works for EF and helps the English teachers get in touch with a ticket agent.
I told her about my plans of wanting to go to Xian and she told me to wait until the 31st (which is just two days before the holiday starts). Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in China. It’s like the Christmas or Thanksgiving of China. Everyone goes home to see their families. Try buying a plane ticket the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s impossible, now multiply that by a billion people.
I was told by my boss Kristian that you can buy train tickets up to 10 days in advance for major holidays. So I went back to Grace and told her to call the ticket agent again. By the time she called him most of the tickets were sold out and the only tickets left were the first class, uber-expensive seats. A trip that should have only cost me around 500RMB was now costing me closer to 1000RMB. That was just too much. So I canceled my trip to Xian to see the terracotta warriors.
It’s hard even getting tickets to go to Beijing. I think I am just going to hang around QHD. There is a place to go skiing not too far from here and my friend Ben said he would teach me how to ski. (I’ve never skied before). There are also a bunch of day trips I want to do around QHD so I will try to stay busy during my week off.
Xīnnián kuàilè (Shin’nian Kwai’le)
Happy Chinese New Years