Happy New Year and a lot of loose ends

Chinese New Year
China in London

The nice thing about living in London is it’s diversity in cultures. There is a rather big Chinese community in London, and yesterday was the celebration of the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Pig has now officially started. The streets look beautiful with the red lanterns and there are a lot of activities going on the coming days. A good way to get an introduction to China before actually going there.

One downside of this is if you happened to have booked a trip to China quite a short while ago. Normal people would prepare that some time in advance so there is time to get all the visa’s in place. Other people, people who don’t think that much about things, don’t prepare at all. And then it can happen that you find out that it’s the Chinese New Year, which is an important celebration for the Chinese, so important that the Chinese Embassy decided to close for a few days.

The same Chinese embassy that was supposed to take care of my visa?
Yes them exactly.

I got my visa for Russia. Plan B is now to first get my Mongolian visa, and to pray (to the Pig maybe?) that I have my Chinese visa latest on Friday afternoon.

I am no longer that worried about the trip after having met several people (in cyberspace) who either have done the same thing or are going to. Also girls who travel by themselves. One of them actually signed up for the other Girl, so Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is now on the map as well. That’s great.

Another nice person trying to calm me down is Man over Board. Not only did he write one of my favourite reviews of The Girl In The Cafe, he also pointed me to this website, which is written by a woman for whom the Trans Mongolian was just a tiny part of her journey. Impressive and inspiring.

I had to laugh as Gina explains that she broke up with a boy because he did the top button of his pyjamas up: Lawrence is all “I’d never do that” and yet he’s exactly the sort of guy who would, we just know. Poor fellow, he’s such a woebegone character.

Read the Man’s review on his website.

I also bought a small Russian Phrase book. It might come in handy, both in Moscow and in the train. There were 2 to choose from, and to pick the right one was easy. I have no plans or anything, but a Russian phrase book without the phrase “? ???? ?????” is a no can do.