It’s the year of the cock! Or rooster or chicken if you are into superstition – here is everything you need to know and some made-up numbers. One could almost think this is a holiday blog now.
So what is going on at that time in Shanghai? Not much I gotta tell you and that is great. This year the government outlawed fireworks within the inner ring of Shanghai and when this time of the year meant war in terms of sound before, this year it is calm bliss. It worked. There is no sound, no noise that disturbs my beauty sleep.
Wait! There was sound. The second day into the holiday I woke up at around 8:30am and here this Shanghai chant in a high pitched voice, followed by what sounded like rhythmic fireworks and that went on for the whole morning. It sounded like a badly recorded techno song mixed together from crackers going off and a traffic announcement in Shanghai. I checked from the balcony and outside – there was nothing. A quick glimpse into the hallway allowed me to see the culprit. A plug-in-firework-door-hanger-thingy by my neighbour who also coughs every morning at the same time with the same melody. Maybe I am the weird one for noticing all this.
In previous years there was apparently a ban too and the population of Shanghai was just like ‘meh’ and had their usual fireworks 24/7 for two weeks leading in and out of the Chinese New Year. This year is different. It’s incredible how a whole country pretty much shuts down. It’s magical almost. It’s like that little city Aue in Germany close to where I am from during a football match (and I couldn’t think of something less fun to watch) – pure bliss. Scratch that! I can’t find a video or picture that compares. So think ’28 Days Later’ in Shanghai, minus zombies plus some life and cars and traffic here and there.
This is also the first time blogging with having a cat and said cat sleeping in my lap while I type away and catch up with Fargo (season 2 now). My significant other meanwhile has a splendid time in Japan.
Initially I was planning to write about the books I read this year so far, but that is a bit to dark, so here is another run down of what is going on with games, shows, movies and life in Shanghai.
I spend the 5th Chinese New Year with my Shanghainese friend and his family for 2 dinners. Time really flies. It’s a time of fantastic home-cooked food and me and the Xbox 360 and the cat and catching up with shows.
Let’s start with the shows I stopped: I stopped watching Supergirl. It’s fun and colourful but too long and too ‘episodic’ to draw me in. I stopped Legends of Tomorrow for pretty much the same reason. Homeland had to go too, it’s just too bleak and unfocused.
The Flash unfortunately suffers a bit with all the characters and Barry making the same choices, but I’ll continue. Arrow is back on the okay track and I continue as well. The clear winner is Gotham – it’s madness, it has no rules and is just fun and an escape from reality not bound by rules. Fresh Off the Boat and Modern Family are constantly delivering. Last but not least, a show from the History Channel out of all places, with the show that rivals, maybe even tops Game of Thrones in places: Vikings. I cannot wait for the finale.
With movies The Accountant showed again Ben Affleck’s brilliance and Arrival moved me deeply in the cinema. Before I saw Arrival, we had the music on the always brilliant Song Exploder Podcast taken apart and explained. Give it a listen here. Great music, great movie!
The gaming part I will spare you this time and stick to podcasts. For one there is The Shanghai Show with yours truly! And then there is Kung Fu Komedy and Baopals with me partly in the picture.
Again have a fantastic year of the cock and stay cocky.