Today, I rang in the Chinese New Year eating some of the most delicious homemade Chinese food I have had in my life, and by dancing the Spanish Bachata at a multi-faith privately-owned “communal” house with a chapel in the backyard, owned by an always-smiling Congolese man. Around our table were four Chinese women, two native Englishmen, two students from Spain – one from the north and one from the south – a Romanian journalism student leaving to study in China next week, the owner of the house who has traveled all over the globe, and myself.

It was a riot of a time.

I have no idea what we ate: The Facebook event menu was completely different from what was served today. Regardless, we ate like kings, laughed like jokers, and bonded as people, across cultures, languages, faiths, and interests.

We taught each other the Bachata and the Menrengue, we talked about dialects and languages and cultures.

The wine flowed freely, the food seemed endless, the company was great, and I had the opportunity to learn about others on a more-than-trivial level, also sharing my experiences and chatting about life back home.

Four in the afternoon in England would be midnight in China, so we were probably dancing and tripping and laughing and drinking when the clock struck twelve back east.

Knowing only the bare minimum from what I’ve read online, the year of the snake is meant to be a year of progress, that emphasizes introspection and a focus on detail, as well as practicing the discipline necessary in order to achieve whatever you’d like to achieve.

To my new friends, Gung Hay Fat Choy.


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