There’s nothing like bright blue skies and glorious sunshine to lighten the mood after what seems like an eternity of dark clouds and heavy rain. I hope this is an omen for the lunar year of the dog.
Taipei is quietening down as the Chinese New Year Holiday approaches. So too is the office. Ironically, I can get a lot more “real work” done than usual because so many of my colleagues have taken a few days off to get an early start for their journeys to the south of the island to visit their families.
I’m fortunate because my wife’s family lives just a stone’s throw away from our apartment. There will be no need for us to sit in heavy traffic when we 回娘家 (return to my wife’s family) on the second day of the New Year.
I greatly enjoy the traditions of the holiday except for the firecrackers that people set off to herald the arrival of the new year. When I was in China a couple of weeks ago, people were telling me that the big city governments are banning individuals from letting off their own fireworks to eliminate the noise pollution and improve public safety.
Half of me wishes that the authorities in Taiwan would follow their example, but the other half tells me that it’s good to see such traditions being kept alive. As long as, of course, the fireworks are used safely.
I don’t have any specific plans for the holiday. After spending so much time on the road recently, it will be nice to be able just to sit back and relax at home. If I feel like it, I might summon up some energy to return to the task of polishing my translation of the Daodejing. Let’s see where the holiday spirit takes me.