chinese new year today, just an ordinary day in london

5 Feb


Digital StillCamera

its chinese new year day of the pig today, so we , ex east-west club members met up in a pub near chinatown. i was expecting more chinese members to be there, but there was only me and another chinese guy. the rest were westerners.

on the way there by bus, i overheard a chinese couple,on the top deck in the next seat making a reservation by phone in a kimchi restaurant near the british museum for 18 people. he was talking rather loudly that is why i can overhear him. a group of them, all young looking chinese people (i heard them speak in a language i could not place, so dont know what they were, korean, japanese or chinese i have no idea) boarded the bus at victoria same as me. they were not 18 though, so more of them might be going there in a separate group. this was his second attempt, when the first one was unable to take his booking for so many people.  he wanted a booking for 18 in 20mins time. i was surprised to hear him say 18 people, until i realise it is chinese new year today. i think he got a positive response on his second phone call. i think he might be a bit optimistic about the time though. i think  they will be late because we were stuck in traffic at piccadilly circus. shaftesbury avenue was just not moving traffic at all. the jam extended all the way up charing cross road to tottenham court road. so busy and what is with all this traffic really.

i left the bus and walked to the meeting place as it will be quicker. not that i was in any hurry of course. its a mystery why that area should have so much traffic at that time of day. it was about 1.30pm. it is not a public holiday here, as uk dont celebrate chinese new year as such.

later after about 1hr at the meetup, when i went to buy the grocery in chinatown, i saw they were only just now putting up the lantern decorations that they string across the street. the place was crowded though, and all the chinese shops were open. no holiday for the workers and staff who man the stores and restaurants. and they were very busy too. so business wise, it is very profitable to open today. there was a long queue at the new loon moon store, but i managed to by pass that queue and went to another queue in a side annex where the vegetables are , and which no one from the main store seem to know about. no queue there. so i was able to getaway with a quick in and out with the frozen fish balls and fresh bean sprouts. 

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