Late yesterday there was a phone call from an old friend who I had not seen for some 5 years. Let's go out to dinner to celebrate the Spring festival. So we did. (More about that later). I should explain that my friend had just arrived that morning from China, had slept for a few hours and then called me. I was really happy to see him after such a long time. The reason for that is that he is simply extraordinarily busy flying around the world.
He went to school and university here in Australia for a total of about 10 years (in the late 1990/s and early 21st C). At the end of his studies, he was tempted to stay in Australia and asked my opinion, which was that if he would be satisfied with whatever career/work he could get, then try and stay here. But if he had a desire to get ahead, then go back to China, which even 15+ years ago was a clearly on a trajectory to greater economic activity. And, that is what my friend did. As he observed what was happening in China, he saw a niche. While most business in China was export oriented, he saw opportunities in importing goods to China. Now he has a busy import business, importing stuff from Australian the UK and the USA and in the process has become very well-off,
So back to last night, like many other Chinese he is well informed about the world, and said there is a Chinese seafood restaurant in Beverly Hills (Aust not the USA one). It gets written about in China (Its called Yummy's)., and is apparently popular with Chinese tourists. Even though he'd booked, we still had to wait for a table, and in the two hours we were there, as soon as a table emptied, new diners came in. (I was told that they had bookings through to about 3.30 am next day) I'll say this, the Chinese know how to celebrate, wine and food in abundance and cost no trouble. And the noise - could hardly have a conversation.
So that was my Spring festival celebration for the year of the pig. What did we eat? A huge plate of pippies (no-one in Aust. would eat them when I was a kid) and another huge plate of Crab, not sure of what sort of crab. never seen a white crab. especially after it was cooked. Chinese seem to love Australian seafood, you should see them crowding the Sydney fish markets.
And if you'd like to know more about famous pigs in Chinese culture, the China Global Television Network has this story: