Thursday, February 07, 2013

Happy New Year (Lunar)

I really must try to be more topical. Lunar New Year was a couple of weeks ago. As it usually is, the Sunday public celebration was centred on Victoria Street, Richmond, closed to traffic and trams. Trams were terminating nearby at Hoddle Street, so we could have caught a tram, but instead I decided we would catch the train.

We want North Richmond Station. Now, it is the Epping/Hurstbridge line and one of the two trains runs express from Jolimont to Clifton Hill, so I better check carefully. Well, it seems that is generally a thing of the past with both trains stopping all stations on weekends. Good for us, as it means a train every ten minutes and better still, the train is not going via the City Loop, so we will be there in a few minutes.

Tailed creatures greeted us as we approached the festivities.


Lots of colour and movement.


Somewhat of a congestion point. I wonder what will happen here. It looks like it may be dangerous as there are a number of fire extinguishers.


I have only seen these around this summer. I understand they are of South Korean origin.  It is single potato, skewered, spiralled, battered, deep fried  and then dusted with gold dust. Gold dust? It is the only way I can explain a single potato costing $5, although afterwards we saw a place selling them for $4. They are very nice. Photo from My Purple Spoon and apparently they are called potato twisters.


 Ah, are they dragon bits I can see? Notice the cutest ever kid.


Meanwhile the dodgem cars had loaded and the start signal given. They all promptly travelled to one end in a crush and became jammed solid.  Nothing to do with them almost all being Asian drivers, it was the sole white guy wot started it


Ah, here are the dragons, chasing away evil spirits as they dance and prance.


Evil spirits begone.


Oh, now I have just remembered the fire extinguishers. I know what is coming. Firecrackers, lot of them and very loud ones. We are outa here. Many years ago we were in Little Bourke Street in town for Chinese New Year celebrations and the fireworks started. Somehow they set the second storey of a building on fire. Can you imagine a fire truck trying to get through the crowds to put the fire out?


Damn, where have our rickshaw pullers gone? Such lazy boys, probably skiving off in the crowd. We'll have to get the train home. As we were walking to the station, the firecrackers began. They were very, very loud and probably had kids crying.


It was such a quick trip out to North Richmond, but we sat for nearly ten minutes between Jolimont and Flinders Street, I guess waiting for a train to move from a platform since the Loop was not operating.

PS I have checked the Epping/Hurstbridge timetable and it seem off peak express trains between Jolimont and Clifton Hill are a thing of the past. Good for some, bad for others, but an off peak ten minute service for the inner suburbs is surely a good thing.

Speaking of trains, a bat shorted out some wires and has managed to send our eastern suburb train lines into meltdown for two days. Unbelievable.

16 comments:

  1. You're right on topic. Whilst Melbourne might have decided to celebrate lunar new year a couple of weeks ago, the actual new year is this coming saturday. I have no idea why it was decoupled.

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    1. Ad Rad, I think it always has been. I can remember doing both on separate days in the past. Won't there be celebrations in the City this Sunday?

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  2. Looked like a good day out. Hope those gold covered potato twisters were tasty. I'm looking forward to this weekend's New Year celebrations. Many of the main roads in London will be closed for the parade which seems to go on for ages. Hopefully it won't be as cold as today. At least you have the warm weather to hang around in.

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    1. Fun60, they were nice to eat. The final step is to dust them with a mix of salt and spices.

      Chinese New Year and London is not something I have ever connected in my head, but of course, wherever there are Chinese, there will be a celebration.

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  3. Oh. They are probably trying to couple (since we are on train metaphors) it with Oz day and get more of the tourist money who might be holidaying in Australia.

    It doesn't start till this weekend.Lovin' grandma's braised duck and stir fried mushrooms, not to mention hot pot and yummy mock vegetable dishes (for the faux religious) as well

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    1. MC, you may be half right. I think by having two celebrations, they maximise the event and extract more money. The Richmond one that we attended is primarily for Vietnamese, being centred on where they live and shop.

      CNY and food. No surprise there. Eat well.

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  4. The best part of participating in a culture not your own is the new food. I love the clothes, the music, the mythology etc but the food is the best way for achieving true understanding.

    This is true in our own city, as you described, and when we go OS on trips. In India, for example, we ate ourselves to a standstill - for learning purposes, of course :)

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    1. Hels, aren't we so fortunate to have such a variety of food from different countries here in Melbourne. It is hard to fight when you eating someone's food.

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  5. Definitely worth your time to visit Andrew ... Wow! that potato twister is huge but for $5.00 it would need to be. Yes fire-crackers usually have kids crying AND dogs howling .... Time to go home.

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    1. Dianne, the fire crackers also kept the drug dealers at bay for the day.

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  6. I enjoyed your trip Andrew and I must find out if there are celebrations this weekend in Perth, there's a huge Chinese community here..Love the dragon dance, not so much the fireworks, in fact not sure if they can actually use fireworks here in Perth. Oh man that potato twister thing look so good, definitely a 'must try' next barbeque!

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    1. Grace, I am sure there will be something happening. Hope it is not too hot there this weekend.

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  7. Australia always celebrates New Year earlier than the rest of the world, due to the international date line ;-) New Zealand celebrated 2 months ago!

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    1. Ah yes Altissima, that line that can give you a prolonged birthday, or cause you to almost miss it.

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  8. Potato Twisters! I've seen these on the web before and have wanted to try one. I wonder if I could learn how to spiral a potato....but then I don't have a deep fryer...
    That isn't Chinese New Year is it? I thought that was the 12th, the Year of the Snake begins.

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    1. River, it was a Chinese New Year celebration, but an early one for Vietnamese. The man at the stall had a machine to make the potato spiral.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.