So the incessant festive explosions of last night continued until very very late, late enough for me to have filmed several chunks of an hour’s worth of explosions around midnight and still had time to upload, edit, save and upload to YouTube and then add it to yesterday’s post before it was calm enough outside to even try to get some sleep. That was sometime around 3am.
Around 5:30am this morning, a very enthusiastic fellow in our parking lot below decided to greet the new year with a long series of sunrise explosions. Throughout the day today there have been a million tiny, ear-breaking explosions everywhere. Children gleefully tossing lit firecrackers at my feet. Firecrackers burning, wedged into any crevice available and exploding as I pass. The startle factor is always near. The streets are littered with spent gunpowder and exploded red paper. The street sweepers with their home made twig brooms are kept busy.
Right now, on the first night of the new year, the skies are booming again. It sounds like Beirut, or maybe London in 1940. Boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom.
Hopefully it will ease up a little so I can get some sleep. Why do I need sleep? Well, because tomorrow we are flying to Cambodia for our Year of The Bunny 2-week New Year holiday!
We had to get a few things done today: we took my parents out to the airport and bade them adieu (bye! come back soon!), then went to Tianzifang to try to find gifts for Doug’s parents (whom we will be traveling in Cambodia with) and then to Dongtai lu antiques market when Tianzifang’s wares proved to be incompatible with his father’s tastes.
Most of Dongtai lu was shut, boarded up, deserted, aside from a few families gathered out in the road playing mah jong and smoking and setting off explosives. There were a few rickety old card tables laden with abandoned, picked over bowls of leftover lunch. There were a few tiny shops open behind the boarded up stalls, if you looked carefully enough. Doug did the shopping (the shops were so small they barely fit one customer); I stood around in the dusty street, dodging flares and taking phone photos to pass the time.
Off to Phnom Penh tomorrow. The laptop is coming with me so updates will be forthcoming. Brace yourselves.