Sunday, 14 February 2010
The Year of the Tiger
We've just got back from China Town where the Chinese New Year celebrations are in full swing. There's something fantastically vibrant about the sights , sounds and smells of the place - a sensory overload almost. Around every street corner came the cacophony of clashing cymbals that heralded the arrival of another Chinese dragon. I was rather wishing that the boys would immerse themselves in the rich culture of it all but they were hankering instead for the mile high displays of neon packaged saccharine and sour chewing gum in the corner shop.
Cosseted away in the warmth of the boys' favourite Chinese eatery - the Top of the Town - we laughed our way through the culinary delights on offer, choosing the crispy duck, squid and chilli beef in favour of the marinated pig's knuckles and jellyfish in sesame oil. Better the devil you know.
The Chinese supermarkets were heaving but we managed to elbow our way round the crowded aisles to buy assorted New Year tat such as a tin joss stick shrine, some gloriously glossy red and gold money envelopes, dragon candles, fortune cookies and something that looks as if you could either eat it or set light to it.
I couldn't resist a bag of something red fashioned out of tissue paper - not sure whether I should be blowing my nose on them or laying them on the table but they're very pretty nonetheless.
Onto the market where the ever popular £3 challenge wielded a black and red checkered belt for Max, a mobile phone pink dangly Teddy for me and ... well something unsavoury for Theo that looks remarkably like a knuckle duster but I'm pretending is a silver necklace in the shape of a cat's paw.
To the retreating sounds of the cymbals and drums we made our escape through the crowds and back to Waterloo with a bag full of booty and some happy snaps.