Happy Chinese New Year! 行年快乐!马年快乐!

Chinese New Year started on Jan 31st this year!  The Spring Festival lasts for 15 days, all of which you get the chance to see fireworks go off in front of your windows, and all over the streets.  Walking the empty streets seemed like a good idea, until it quickly became a battleground littered with land mines.

This was my first year not celebrating with family, and what they say is true--distance makes the heart grow fonder.  My time away has given me the opportunity to feel the tighter bond with everyone at home, and the little things become not so little anymore.  Moments & gestures seem to magnify with distance, along with the feelings (OH MAN, SO MUCH CHEESE, I KNOW.. I KNOW..)  

Anyway, my flat mate, Malcolm and I made an attempt to check out the Chinese New Year Temple Fair at Ditang near Lama Temple.  We ended up getting lost in the swarm at the temple, and spent the afternoon at Lama Temple instead.  No matter how crowded a temple is, that peaceful feeling always seems to find a way to those welcoming.  

The 15th day of the festival landed on Valentine's day as well as Sesame Soup Ball Day(元宵节)Yuan Xiao Jie.  The Chinese love the circular objects, signifying togetherness and infinite prosperity, happiness, and wealth--hence, the sticky sesame soup balls.  Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day everyone & don't forget to eat those Sesame Soup Balls :)

Not quite sure what this is about ;)

Not quite sure what this is about ;)

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
— ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh