PROSPEROUS LUNAR YEAR OF TET TO MY VIETNAMESE FRIENDS
I was quite happy to obtain a ticket from Miami to Brussels, via a rather circuitous route of flying
Miami to Washington DC on a CRJ700 operated by Mesa Airlines seat 1 A 2 hours
Washington DC to Tokyo on a 777-200 operated by United Airlines seat 6B 13h45 min
Tokyo to Singapore on a 787-8 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon, seat 4H 7 hours
This is the fastest I have gotten to Singapore from Miami which usually takes more than 30 hours of connections and flying, this time it was more like 26 or 27 hours with good connections in Tokyo with its extremely efficient staff.
Also I was happy to be in Asia as they celebrate the Year of the Horse of the Chinese and also the Lunar New Year of Tet in Vietnam!
I am writing this from the airport in Changi, Singapore and it is unusually quiet. Today and yesterday are not the dates of travel for the Chinese as they would like to be with their families. I am on my way to my Chinese friends in Bogor but New Year is not the occasion, but an intense exercise regimen with excellent eating, including some Sundanese food, is on the agenda.
I am already looking forward to my flight on QR from CGK via DOH to BRU
My dear Kickapoo, who live in Texas and Mexico would be celebrating their New Year with the usual rituals which are hidden from outsiders. I know that the Spiritual leader of the Kickapoo whose blessings I seek for my family and friends, awaits the announcement of the new year by the Thunder Spirits and as soon as the new rain and thunder appear, he declares the New Year. This usually comes around a Lunar calendar too but it is not rigidly set. Once the announcement is made, the news spread faster than their new cellular phone connections (many of them have both Mexican and usa based cellular phones!), and they all troop down to their ancient home territory by the valley of the Sierra Madre Oriental by the river and begin a week of celebrations and prayers.
I wish many friends of mine among the Kickapoo a pleasant time reaffirming their cultural identity.
So it is a pleasure for me to wish a happy year to come to my Chinese friends overseas, especially EC in Seattle, Washington; JT and MW in Singapore as well as Pak Chee in Kuala Lumpur. My Indonesian Chinese friends seem very secular about the New Year Celebrations since they are culturally well integrated into the modern Indonesian society. In any case, I would be physically with them so that itself would be a great celebration!
Good friends who have remained close to my heart in our sister socialist country of Vietnam, T and N in HoChiMinh and C in Hanoi, as well as the Cuban-Vietnamese family near Dalat, Bienvenidos La Cubanita Vietnamita!