21 February 2018


my very first job in london was right by chinatown. i had no money back then, so i would walk from charing cross station to carnaby street twice a day, every day. i'd avoid trafalgar square and leicester square most days by heading up into the belly of the chinese beast, and walk slowly and carefully where i could, making sure to avoid the run off of soapy water that would pool the cobbled streets as the restaurant owners washed their windows, and set up for the day. i did that for more than three years, so i'm pretty familiar with that part of london. since leaving that job, i can count on one hand how many times i've been through chinatown - especially on a weekend, but if there's one thing that's going to get me back there - and voluntarily to boot - it was to celebrate chinese new year; it is the year of the dog, after all!

i was born in the year of the rat myself, but i think we all know i'm fond of dogs. the dog is the eleventh of the chinese zodiac animals. a dog's most refining characteristic is their loyalty; they will never abandon their friends, family or work. so, if you or someone you know was born in the year of the dog, then we're very lucky to have you in our lives! everyone needs a dog friend for advice and help, and they're also pretty good at helping other fix their bad habits. 

rats, on the other hand, are clever, quick thinkers who are content with living a quiet and peaceful life. i also read some things about rat that made me laugh out loud. namely that they a) are sensitive to other's emotions but are stubborn with their opinions; b) their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude; c) on the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. this is all me! i never really think too much about personality profiles, but this one - as well as the istj one - are so very spot on. *ponders life*

i met up with rebekah and laura in the middle of the crowds of thousands, and we wandered the unusually closed off streets taking in all the celebrations going on around us. we stopped for coffee when the crowds got too much, and then again for dumplings when the sun started to dip, and the day seemed to be coming to a close. it was so nice to be able to amble up and down streets that are so familiar  still, and hold some great memories of hundreds of nights out, but in a wholly sober state. i honestly can't think of the last time i slowly took in the centre of london, without purpose. it was really, really a great day out, and i'm definitely going to be doing it again next year because, well, you can't really not check out that gorgeous lantern festival, can you? gong hei fat choy!

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