With the festive lights lining the streets come the beginning of Chinese New Year festivities.


My festivities began Friday afternoon at 4:30pm after leaving work arm and arm with Jason to Di Hua Jie 迪化街. This is the street market area to go feel the festive spirit and fill your belly with snacks. Photos here are of the signs surrounding the area as they look a lot better than the shots from my non low light iPhone.


What snacks does one look for? Piles of nuts, candies, gummy treats, sausages, and piles of dried meat. One must by bags full of these snacks to share with family and friends over the week long new year period. Our landlord brought us over a gift of one of these dried meats. Guess what kind of meat? Smoked dried squid. Awesome tasting by the way. Slightly smokey, it doesn’t have a fish flavor, instead tastes more like a cross between smoked chicken and salmon with spicy chili flakes sprinkled on. It goes great with a side of fresh basil and gin and tonic. Always food fusion at the Cruzan household!

We were up late kicking off our vacation week and made a big meal Saturday evening of mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, and vegetables. By 10:30 it was time to head out to see the evening scene! Albeit very quiet streets, we found a nice temple along the way to a nearby park. There is also a bigger temple across from the park where we sat and watched locals begin the new year prayer customs. At midnight we were happy to find a group of young Vietnamese friends show up with fireworks! Another Chinese group came afterwards with more sparklers and explosives. Yes! The party came to us this new year. We are so blessed…