Posted by: Brian | July 4, 2009

Things That Go Boom

Salvadors: the closest youll get to American food in Kunming. Nough said.

Salvador's: the closest you'll get to American food in Kunming. 'Nough said.

So – it’s the Fourth of July. Hooray! Only that’s not celebrated in China. Boo.

My compromise? I’m having dinner in an American-owned cafe, having a bacon cheese burger, fries, and a coke. I don’t have any fireworks, but if I can find any, believe me – I’m buying them. Then I’m buying a lighter. Then tonight, after all the security guards at my university have gone home, I’m going all pyromaniac (is there a better word that involves explosions?) on everybody.

Even though the 4th isn’t the biggest or most important holiday I celebrate, I’m usually home for it, and it feels weird to be somewhere else. The Fourth of July is supposed to include a ritual showing of the musical 1776, burgers, things that go boom, and in recent years, ill-advised street luge-ing escapades.

There are other Americans here, but I don’t know them very well, so I celebrated with a Swede, an Australian, and a German. Cecilia (the Swedish girl) wanted to order spaghetti – horrors! I set her straight, and quickly at that. We all had bacon cheese burgers. Much, much more appropriate.

During the meal, we had a very interesting conversation regarding Guy Fawkes Day, another super-fun celebration of things that explode. Jenny the German girl mentioned that she thought it weird to celebrate the averted attack on Parliament with fireworks. The Australian girl and I laughed and (sarcastically) maintained that the celebration was clearly FOR Guy Fawkes, not against him. She was confused and couldn’t quite wrap her head around the concept of celebrating rebellion and acts of subversion, and we never got around to explaining our sarcasm (all in good fun, I promise), so I think she’s now got very strange ideas about us. Oh well.

In closing, this certainly hasn’t been a typical 4th of July, but I’m getting by, no thanks to my bank (more on that tomorrow). Happy Independence Day!

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