Two weeks ago, Meishun and her friend Donna set off to the capital of Neverland to inform some government officials that they were about to be blackmailed by some witches. Now, the two friends were roaming around the capital, trying to locate the government officials. They hadn’t realized that finding a group of five gullible, gray-haired men who spent most of their time behind a desk (if not waiting in line for a pastrami sandwich for lunch at the cafeteria) was quite an ordeal.
The two friends didn’t give up, though. Even though the capital was not a small town, it wasn’t so big either. They would have ample time to go around and knock on the door of local offices before the witches would send out their manifest. Allegedly, that is. The girls realized that they didn’t have time until the end of the world, either.
However, as it does around Lunar New Year, time stops. Not literally, of course. It’s just that nearly all companies are understaffed and non-essential work (like government policy work, where these five men were working) was usually halted for a while. Businesses being closed, contractors not working, politicians vacationing near the seaside… There was no point in trying to get any work done whatsoever.
They decided to take a small vacation, enjoying the city’s many small stores…
Lunar New Year is drawing closer
The girls spent some of their time hunting for the five officials. But as Lunar New Year drew closer (it would start in only 10 or 11 days), finding a government office that was open was getting more and more difficult. The two girls worried a bit, but they figured that the witches must be sending their manifest after the festivities would quiet down. They too, can’t blackmail someone who isn’t reachable, can they?
Thus, as Donna and Meishun had made the trip to the capital, they decided to take a small vacation, enjoying the city’s many small stores, beautiful old streets and lovely markets. Meishun found another bento box stand, where she happily got a bento full of fish and rice. Yum! Even Donna tried one, though she preferred chicken.
An empty beach
They went on to walk around the beaches. You see, as the capital was located in the North of the country, it was near the warm sea, that brought the capital some pleasant, mild temperatures in winter. It was a stark contrast to what Meishun was used to: always putting on skates and drinking a lot of hot chocolate to keep warm. Though a jacked was required, there was no wind, and walking an empty beach was pleasant. Some people were kitesurfing. Though Meishun said she’d never, ever do that, Donna said she would give it a try.
Somewhere around midday, Meishun thought of home. She wondered how Ms. Sunflower, Mr. Meow and Mattie were doing. She hoped they’d be okay on their own. Mostly, though, she hoped that the two cats hadn’t eaten all the cat food she’d put down for them. Usually cats are wise… but not always.
Meishun and Donna returned to the city center, and bought some red lanterns and other decorations to celebrate the new year. It wasn’t long before the room they rented for the occasion had turned completely red, and well-wishing sayings were draped all over the wall.
Only a few days left, and then, we could say: “Happy Year of the Ox!”
See you in the next blog!
Hanh & Kay