So this is the new year

Every time a new year starts, I remember Death Cab for Cutie’s song: So this is the new year, and I don’t feel any different.

I also remember a strip from Calvin & Hobbes. I couldn’t find it now, but the dialogue goes like this:

Calvin: I’m getting disillusioned with these new years. They don’t seem very new at all! Each new year is just like the old year! Here another year has gone by and everything’s still the same! There’s still pollution and war and stupidity and greed! Things haven’t changed! I say what kind of future IS this?! I thought things were supposed to improve! I thought the future was supposed to be better!

Hobbes: The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present.

(Calvin & Hobbes is my favourite comic book. If you have never read it you can check it out here).

The turn of a year is something pre-established. There is not really a change, everything is the same, except that you have to get a new calendar. That is, if you are one of those old fashioned people who enjoy having a paper calendar. Like me!

For Chinese people, the new year does change something. They count their age based on the number of the year, so everybody gets one year older when a new year starts. For Chinese people, now I am 32!! I hate this. I just turned 31 four months ago!!

The first days of 2016 have been quiet for me. We spent our three days of holidays cooking, eating and watching movies. Then I started working from home. Well, to be honest, I started working from home last week, but let’s consider that just a warm-up!

This is my new office (located in our guest room):

From Nico's point of view.

From Nico’s viewpoint.


I am supposed to have one hour for lunch break. Sometimes I cook at home. When I am lazy I go outside to eat. I found a canteen-style place just outside our compound. You get a tray and choose the dishes you want. It reminds me of the canteen at my old job in Suzhou. It is cheap and convenient, but I want to eat at home more often. Small restaurants are always too generous with salt and MSG.

The canteen.

The canteen.


I am worried that being home all day is going to hinder my inspiration for blog posts. Many posts I wrote were inspired by things I saw on the street, or by conversations I had with people. But now my human contact is limited to QQ and Skype, and my outside walks are always around the compound.

Let’s see what surprises 2016 brings us! (I just noticed it is a Summer Olympics year. Again!!).