I Hate Chinese New Year

Because every goddam year, the retail plaza which includes my gym — round the back, up the butt of Ch’i — is swamped on the day of the lunar festival by Southeast Asians from all over the Tidewater, it seems, cramming themselves into the Asian groceries and restaurants and clubs that occupy literally every other leasable space. A parking lot which is normally nasty toward evening, or at weekend peak hours, becomes a day-long circus of cars crawling bumper to bumper, looking for scarce parking spaces, for — what? An opportunity to be jammed so close to others of one’s social cohort that nobody can move or breathe? They drag their kids by the hand behind them, like a silent threat reminding us that in a few years, there will be more and yet more trying to shoehorn themselves into the same couple of acres of commercial property.

This isn’t about my being a bigot of any particular kind. I hate Christmas and its attendant insanities too, as regular visitors to this blog well know. I just cannot understand what it is about any date on the calendar that makes people need to carry on, crowd together, or perform grueling “celebrations” that call for heroic efforts and exhausting travel. For the blood of Christ and the mercy of Kwan Yin, can’t everybody just stay home and let life go on without complication?

It’s not enough that the detritus of the past week’s blizzard is still on the ground, heaped eight and ten feet high at corners and intersctions, blocking up roads and parking lots everywhere. No, these goddamned idiots have to converge on the county line and mill around all day as if there were something to be accomplished by it.

I am already dreading it. I just have to get in and out of there first thing in the morning. Surgical strike.

What it is about a “holiday” that people want to stage a production — going out of their way, at unnecessary expense and to the inconvenience of everyone nearby — in the presence of mobs of other people they don’t even know and can’t possibly like? Maybe someone can explain it to me.


15 thoughts on “I Hate Chinese New Year

  1. It’s just like with the toilet paper thing. They don’t plan ahead. Back in Canada I always did my Christmas shopping in August. Or else I made stuff for people.

    And, as always, things like this are always much much worse if you have to drive a car.

    I suggest you start ordering EVERYTHING online.

    I hear it’s going to be the Year of the Tiger. An auspicious time to have a tiny orange tiger kitteh arrive in my life, I reckon.

  2. Don’t ask me. I have no idea what the appeal is. The last big crowd scene I did was to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on its 50th anniversary, and when I planned the excursion I had no idea that I was going to be in the middle of a crowd of approximately 3 million people all doing the same thing.

    • I love the city life, but massive crowds, jammed packed for events seem noisy, and miserable to me. Often, I just end up feeling trapped. I think other people at these events feel that way too.

  3. We’re a curious mixture of predator and prey. We’re also both herd animals and individuals. Some people thrive in their packs. Some hunt alone. As I recall, you like cats more than dogs. There’s yer answer.

  4. At least Chinese New Year has some history behind it.

    All the Valentines Day crap this weekend is kind of grossing me out. Chocolates and hearts and butterflies…

  5. Well, the Fourth of July has some history too, but it seems to have devolved into a lot of people going someplace inconvenient and, in the case of Washington DC, spending all day on the Mall — these days, in pens where they check your ID before you can go in, for security — just to see about a half hour of fireworks.

    Which can be impressive, but it just doesn’t compute for me.

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