Visit my recently updated website for photos at: http://markbaldwingolf.googlepages.com/taipeiphotos
Sheng Ni Kuai Le!! Happy Chinese New Year! This past week has been the Chinese Christmas, Hanukka, and New Year all brought together in a week-long package. Here is an American's guide to surviving the first major chinese holiday.
1. You must clean your house's every corner; every mouse hole, toilet crack and cockroach lair must be scrubbed to shine. This is all done the day prior to new year's eve. It frees your house from the bad luck of the previous year and rids your house of any evil spirits.
2. Do Not clean your house on New Year's Day. Too Little too Late here. This invites a year of bad luck upon your house.
3. All the family's children should be given a red envelope full of perfectly crisp 100 NT dollar bills. 5 bills is expected for every child and should they not receive a contribution to their video game/new cell phone fund, you open yourself to a year of bad luck. If you can't make a contribution because you are already financially down on your luck, '08 isnt looking promising.
4. You are what you eat. Want strong bones? You'd better get some of those soft bones on your plate and chow down. Want healthy blood? Eat that coagulated pig's blood while it's hot.
5. Everyone is more prone to getting sick around the turn of the year. It's a fact: Feb. 5 rolls around and you'd better load up on the vitamins. The remaining bad luck from the old year is going to take one last hard swing at you. Get your vitamin shield up. 3 times p/day with double the daily dosage is recommended on the days leading up to the new year.
6. There is not enough grain alcohol in all of China to calm a stressed out family prior to New Year's eve. Get our your ear plugs and muffs, it's your only defense. If you don't get along with your family, get ready to weather the encore of family hurricaines; you've got six days of card games and sitting down to traditional taiwanese delicacies with them.
Guan Bei!! Zaijian!