Monday, January 26, 2009

An Open Letter

To: The residents of my community
From: The foreigner
Re: Firecrackers during Chinese New Year

Dear Neighbors,

The year of the Ox is upon us, and with it the necessity to drive out evil spirits with firecrackers. Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest that you give up the firecrackers altogether. I wouldn't ask you to use one of the government-issued CDs of firecracker noises anymore than I would ask you to replace the ghost money you burn with ghost credit cards. Nor would I want to deny your 7-year-old child the chance to play, alone and unsupervised, with firecrackers that you'd need a license for back in the US.

I am asking that you limit the hours you set them off. You prefer 24 hours of firecrackers; I prefer 24 hours of silence. So let's compromise. I'll take 12 hours of silence- say, 8 pm to 8 am- and you get 12 hours of firecrackers. Heck, I'll go a step further! You can have until 9 pm, even 9:30! You can start them up again at 7! That's 14 and a half hours of firecrakcers! That's fair, right?


Yours hopefully,
The very tall, very white, very big-nosed foreigner

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