The year of the hare and other ramblings

There has been an intensity to festivities here, in Lijiang, a surreality associated with the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland. And I weary of it.

It started on 3 February and goes on until the full moon – over two weeks.  March Hare madness for too long.

Fireworks from my window

Firecrackers explode in front, behind, no matter. No reason, no warning. To frightening away the ghosts of yesteryear – and us in the process? I wonder – we are sometimes openly called White Foreign Devils. They assume we don’t understand. Derogative terms bother me. The prejudice born of ignorance.

Firecracker debris

Interestingly, I have caught myself thinking that ignorance is a state of mind, of not wanting to know, rather than not having had the opportunity to know, to understand – or to enquire.

I remember how I was closed off from enquiring as a child, made to feel afraid to ask. Bewildered by the world around me, the power of grown-ups. Even the word “grown-up” meant that you weren’t.

Lewis Caroll’s stories took on a darker tone.

New Year’s Eve itself was spent in Little Lijiang, Shuhu, about 10 mins drive north. There were seven of us in the car – we knew we wouldn’t be able to get a taxi, but we didn’t realise that we wouldn’t be able to get anything to eat! It’s very much a family occasion, and all the restaurant owners were at home, eating with their families. We munched on what we could find: sweets and fruit – and all had rather sore heads in the morning…

New Year's Day, Lijiang

… which didn’t of course prevent us from supping the “hare” of the dog…

But now I have moved from Rhizome to the Garden Inn Guest House – the room is light and airy: windows on two sides. Light! How I despair when the room is dark. I can’t think, I can’t breathe. Nothing moves.

Ah, light!

The view outside my "front door"

How do people live where the sun never rises over the horizon for six months of the year?

I would need to be held within a strong community to survive that!