National Day Preparations

October 1 is China's National Day. I wrote about our National Day experience last year while we were living in Macau (click here to read it). Macau is a Special Administrative Region to China, and they certainly celebrate it. If you recall, Macau "celebrated" with some protests, and we celebrated by heading up to the China border with the kids. I wonder if we'll see organized protests here in Mainland China. Doubtful! I've noticed a definite presence of the People's Liberation Army standing at attention on several of the platforms of the larger subway stations in the last few days.

Trying to sneak a shot at the camera-phobic PLA army men.

And there are flags everywhere, hanging from every pole and street sign and tree branch and shop and even the overhead pipes in the subway. At first, I had all these warm and fuzzy feeling about the flags, because after all, America goes similarly flag crazy during its national holiday on July 4, and I thought it was a nice bridge between my current home and my former home. But then I remembered  America flies its flag proudly because the stars and stripes represent freedom and patriotism. Not exactly the same here.

Flags lining both sides of the street in our neighborhood.

Michael has the entire week off, as does everyone else in China. There was a mass exodus of 90% of the expat population as businesses close down for the week. This was the time of our planned trip to the States, but we weren't able to pull it off. Hopefully spring will work better. Instead we'll be hanging out in Shanghai as a family, enjoying the National Day fireworks along the river from our new flat.

If there's one thing China does really well, it's fireworks. Pretty sure there hasn't been a single week in our four months here that we haven't see at least a small display blasting into the night. Good thing I'm a fan. And good thing our dog is Chinese (she was born in Hong Kong, we got her in Macau, brought her into the Mainland). Lucy Rocket doesn't lift an eyelid when the blasts go off, she just snoozes right through it. Not my kids. They come streaming out of their room long after bedtime to see the late night displays, oohing and ahhing alongside their mama.

Fireworks two nights ago in front of the Bund
on the Huangpu River, as seen from my couch.
Also our guestroom view!

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