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Friday, February 16, 2018

TODAY IS CHINESE NEW YEAR 4716

I annually post on the Chinese New Year, as for example two years ago.  While the Gregorian Calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, has us in the year 2018, the Chinese use a lunar version, and this is year 4716, 4715, 4655 or thereabouts.  There is also an Assyrian calendar, which is in year 6788.  

The latest evidence is that the Chinese buried their dead as far back as 178,000 years ago, which is interesting, because the first modern humans supposedly walked out of Africa around 75,000 years ago.  That same Pope Gregory also invented the Gregorian chant, a tune with which my eating club at Stanford won an annual songfest 57 years ago.  We dressed in hair shirts.  The experience was phantasmagorical.

This is the Chinese New Year of the dog.  Of course you are aware that there are twelve different animals, but the Chinese calendar is also on a 60-year cycle, because each animal rotates among metal, water, wood, fire and earth.  Want to know your origin?  Click here.

The only mythical animal is the Dragon, and if you wondered why there is no fish among the twelve, turns out that the dragon is head of the fish clan.  I'm a Dragon, which, you should all know, is the most powerful and auspicious of all the zodiac animals. Dragons are also creative people, often bursting with ideas and intention.  All so true.

But about the dog, Donald Trump was born in 1946, the Year of the Fire Dog.  According to the prevailing horoscope for his 2018 year:

Health luck is not on your side, your body is weak, if there are illness, seek medication immediately, never drag it out as it may turn serious. Wealth luck is good but for family luck, it is down. Don’t get too worried though as you may receive help from guardians of nobility. Problems will be settled in no time. Remember, never get frustrated over minor things as it may upset your luck.

Also, too, Melania (1970) is a dog, and seers said they should worry about their marriage.

I celebrated the coming of the Chinese New Year on February 14 with my annual Shanghai Dumpling feast at Fook Lam.  Walked through the Chinatown Cultural Plaza during this Year of the Dog, and noted the Year 4716:


I guess the Permanent Makeup must refer to the tattoos.  I was greeted by my Blue-bar pigeon friend next to the statue of Sun Yat-Sen:


Fook Lam is down the walkway, just viewable on the right, where there was only one table available, my favorite, in the corner next to the window.  I began with four spinach and scallop dumplings:


Very hot in temperature, and more so with the various additives, plus my traditional $1 can of Steel Reserve beer, at 8.1% alcohol, and cognac.  Then the Shanghai Soup Dumplings:


I like this table because I can view the activities outside on the River Street walkway.  Never fails that contraband is visibly sold.  Today, I think it was beef:


Another memorable Chinese New Year lunch.

Walked  down a block through the Mauna Kea Market Place, guarded by Foo Dogs:


Cherry Blossoms were for sale.  I guess Honolulu blooms faster than Japan or DC.


The usual exotic fruit assortment:  rambutan, longan, soursop, mangosteen and durian:


I went up and smelled the cut piece, which was sufficiently covered that there was no malodor.  I might have tried it if I could have purchased a small slice, but they only sold the whole fruit.  Hotels in the Southeast Asia have signs restricting you from bringing this horrendously smelly fruit onto their property.

Note the one giant abalone below:


Then a further walk to Oahu Market:


I ended my day purchasing half a pound of roast pork for my dinner.

For yesterday, which was Chinese New Year's Day Eve, I had lunch at Yauatcha at the International Market Place in Waikiki:


Can you believe this contemporary Chinese restaurant owned by a Chinese person from London does not serve Chinese wine nor beer?  So I had the Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Siew Long Bun), XO Scallop Dumpling, Hot and Sour Soup with Chicken and a glass of Japanese Hitachino Red Rice Ale:


Notice the small blue bottle of American Skye Vodka?  They saw me pouring the vodka into the dumplings and soup but there was no hassle.  My best Chinese meal in a long time.

Catching The Bus back, I stopped by Hiro's at Oahu Market to purchase a pound and a half of Big-Eye Chutoro Tuna from Hawaii:


They prepared my order into sashimi and placed the cut fish onto a layer of chopped cabbage, which I shared with my 15 Craigside Thursday night table:


To protect their privacy, I won't mention their names.  What a beginning to dinner.  I ordered ox-tail soup to take-out, for I have a short trip and won't return until either Friday or Saturday night around 9PM the following week, at which time I'll have that meal.

By the time you read this I will be on my way to San Francisco, which really celebrates Chinese New Year.  Return tomorrow for my experience.  I'm staying at the Marriott Marquis on Mission, a block from the parade path.

Chinese New Year Parade Route

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