First up I would like to say that I have managed to keep all limbs intact after the insanity that was the beginning of the Spring Festival, aka Chinese New Year. While my hearing and sight are perhaps not in such good condition, a minor burn on my arm and shrapnel bruise to my leg were the only injuries from my fireworks debut. Jordyn is also still in one piece- only just though, after a firecracker was reacting too slowly for her liking and she begun to point it towards her face, to outcry from all spectators; "WHAT ARE YOU DOING DON'T POINT IT AT---" just as she pointed it back at the sky it began raining colourful missiles upon the unsuspecting lattice fence, lucky timing.
The mayhem began on Tuesday afternoon as soon as the sun dipped below the horizon. We had been dispatched to find fruit for a hostel feast, wandering completely unsuspectingly into what felt like a combat zone- hopefully I will be able to attact a video to this that Jords took as we were walking home, which will explain much better than I can with words.
We have spent the aftermath of Chinese New Year being continually shocked by random fireworks appearances and trying in vain to find an open restaurant. New Years Day we went in search of lion dancing, but instead found a variety show featuring kung fu, dancing, Sichuan face changing opera, a magician and me. I knew I was in trouble when the magician started talking about people who were watching who might not understand Chinese, then he swtiched to English and asked me to come onto the stage! I was the somewhat unwilling assitant to the trick that involves a guillotine-that-slices-all-the-vegetables-but-magically-doesn't-slice-your-assistants-hand-off. Well. Standing right next to said guillotine I couldn't figured out how it would fail to detach my left hand, and thus the terror on my face in the video Jords took is real. We also visited the Nanjing Massacre Museum, which was haunting- 300 000 victims fell to the Japanese, many in truly shocking ways. The rulers at the time told the people of Nanjing, 'It is better to be broken as jade than to remain whole as tile', and then effectively locked the city and left them to the cruelty of the invading Japanese army. The museum in built around an excavated mass grave site, and the pictoral evidence gathered by the Japanese themselves is damning and disturbing.
Other than that, we have been riding bikes in search of a famous dumpling chain (which we finally found today for lunch, well-worth the search), hooning in a motor boat around one of the many lakes, eating alot of Aijisen Ramen because nothing else is open and chilling with the awesome people at our hostel. The New Year holiday has been quite restrictive, but also lots of fun- happening upon random celebratory street-markets and food stands and chatting with families visiting temples for their little time off makes up for the closure of almost all restaurants and sights. Tomorrow we are catching a fast train to Shanghai, our last stop before flying home on the 17th. Depending on time and internet availability I may post some pictures of Shanghai later this week.
Here is our week in Nanjing in pictures, hope everyone is well and sheltering from the bonkers weather.