I was thinking today of the years I spent in Hong Kong and realized I was only really there for Chinese New Year right before I left the Territory for good. It was 1998, I was pregnant, and unable to travel back to Hubei Province (doctor’s orders!) to visit my in-laws. So I stayed in Hong Kong while my then-husband spent the holiday with his family.
This is my apartment from back then.
I don’t remember the particulars of the holiday that year, other than I was living with a good friend and her boyfriend. They’d moved into my apartment (I had the room on the right; they were in the one to the left) because my husband at the time couldn’t stay in Hong Kong due to visa issues and we were just biding time until late February 1998 when we’d fly to San Francisco and start a new chapter (which would last a couple years until I left in March 2000 to move back home with my parents in Chicago).
This is me in San Francisco some months later, pregnant with Jake.
I was technically in Hong Kong a few years earlier over Chinese New Year, but left soon after the first day of the holiday to fly up to Wuhan and then traveled by car to Hidden River, where I’d meet my future in-laws. So my memories of that Lunar New Year were more about mainland China than Hong Kong, although I remember a magical evening with my college roommates at the flower market in Victoria Park (the night I got the phone call from my fiance, summoning me to Hubei Province).
I suppose it’s only fitting that most of my Chinese New Year memories are from China itself. After all, I spent a week in Nanjing during the Lunar New Year in 1991 and in Hubei Province in 1995, 1996, and 1997.
Happy Year of the Rooster! What are your favorite Lunar New Year memories?