Chinese New year, Away Team - 10th February 2008

by Sarah Jenkin

You dirty rats! The Torchwood Nine see in the New Year, Chinese style.

Do we just do sci-fi things? Us, no, we are LOTNA and we are cultured. Besides, they spoke Chinese in Firefly didn't they? See, there is a sci-fi connection if you look hard enough for it. The gang met up at Embankment station at 10 and we set off in trepidation, hoping to find a good view of the New Year parade. Would we get a good view? Well, yes we did. Cue much merriment as William and Mark started comparing lens sizes. Oh dear lads, it's not the size of the zoom that matters, it's where you're standing...

I was amazed at the sheer energy and vibrancy of the parade that started off in the Strand and went all the way through London. There were dragons aplenty and dancers, drummers and lots of martial arts displays. And rats. Trafalgar square, where the main entertainments and stalls were, started off and remained packed all day. It was beautifully decorated with red lanterns, and much merriment was had with people getting random fortune cookies. Mine was "someone will ask for your advice" yes, "can you open this fortune cookie packet for me" Ah the ways of the east are wise indeed... Avoiding the crush we strode toward the equally packed Leicester square, and the explosive firework displays. Was it me, or did they improve over time?

Of course, being LOTNA, there was the inevitable trip to forbidden planet. I blame Ash for that. No reason, it's just her fault, she led us astray. Not that we took much persuading! I was impressed by the sheer good-natured feeling of the event, despite people being crammed in like sardines. After the event ended, we gathered in a public house to gather our strength for the voyage home. Everyone happy, laughing and singing along to the music. I didn't feel threatened once, and there were no displays of excessive drinking. By anyone else, that is ;-)

The mayor of London organises something for the Chinese new year - fancy meeting up for next year?

I think we shall be doing it all again for St Patrick's Day - who's up for it?

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