Sunday, February 1, 2009


London is inches deep in night and snow, and it is utterly magical.

Today I woke up (fairly) early to go to Trafalgar Square and China Town for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Down a barricaded street branching off Picadilly Circus, stages were being set up and red paper lanterns were strung across the sky. Snow drifted down in between the baubles and stuck to my pea coat in great clumps, wetting my nose and eye lashes. With a mixture of awe and apprehension I melted into the quickly growing crowd of prams and paper dragons, searching for something intangible.

Minutes after becoming thoroughly entrenched in foreign accents, I was being pushed to the sidewalk to make way for a cadre of drums and cymbals, followed closely by a disembodied lion head. Obviously excited about what they were about to witness, I was pushed forward again by clamoring hands and one persistent little boy who just wanted to go home. I was, I realized, occupying a prized spot at the front of the crowd, and felt rather smug about it. Unfortunately for us, once the lion finally put its head on it snaked away rather quickly, off to jump and kick for the less determined farther down the road.

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