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Two systems: one New Year


while in Hong Kong you can go to the beach and enjoy a barbeque while turning slowly crimson under the fierce sun.

But everywhere the love of food, that the Chinese have, is reflected in the binge eating you see on both sides of the border. The quality of the cooking may well be (in my opinion, anyway) a lot better in Hong Kong; but Beijing makes up for it with the amount of alcohol it swallows down its collective throat.

And though I would have to say I really prefer the Spring Festival weather in Hong Kong to the bitter cold in Beijing, I still have to admit that for me Beijing is a much more exciting place to celebrate the holiday – despite its empty streets. Just those relentless explosions, as opposed to law abiding citizens going about their business, are a constant reminder that life is fun, that the forthcoming season is a time for renewal, and that despite the greedy taxi drivers and others of their ilk, people in general look as if they have had a psychological boost from the festivities.

Where else can you get such a dose of happiness just by looking out of your window? Roll on next year’s festival; I can’t wait.

“Kung Hei Fat Choy!”

“Gong Xi Fa Cai!”

By Brian Salter


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