As some of you may already know from my social media channels, I am headed to Asia this summer and I am trying to immerse myself into food, language and history of the countries I am visiting.
It just happened that I am in Hawaii during Chinese New Year celebrations. I have always wanted to participate in the festivities and where better than in a place in which 1/3 of the population is descended from Chinese immigrants?
Getting to Chinatown and back was really easy and affordable by taking The Bus (www.thebus.org). There were vendors, food stalls and stage performances that gave me a little taste of China- albeit I think a very westernized version, but fun nonetheless.
The streets were closed for the celebrations and several “Dragons” made their way through the area, collecting red cards containing money from businesses. I would very much would like to know where the money is going… If anyone knows, leave me a comment…
I went out on this little adventure on my own, at night, in preparation for a few weeks of solo travel in Asia as well, and I am very satisfied with the result. I felt confident, empowered and independent. Not that I am not all those things already, but I have been married for a decade and I have started to rely on my husband an awful lot, so when I saw this event, I wanted to see if I could it on my own again….
The only mishap was the unexpected re-routing of the buses. The cops closed out the street around Chinatown and I had no idea where the nearest “new” route was. To make things worse, I didn’t really pay attention to the return timetable and additional features on the app which let me pick the return time, so I freaked out a little when I saw that I only had a few minutes to catch what I thought was the last bus back to my hotel (40 mins away). I asked for directions and everything worked out, but I did realize that in Asia, I may not be able to communicate as well, therefore, I should have a plan A and B before I leave to go somewhere, specially at night. There are going to be a lot more lessons learned to blog about along that trip, but it’s all part of the journey.
Have you participated in Chinese New Year celebrations? What was your experience?