....long hiatus between posts.....
Somehow, everything came together in March, shortly after the beginning of the Chinese new year. Coincidence?
First: I finally got a job! I am a reporter in a northern Colorado suburb. I will be covering the local government and business.
Also: My fiancee and I also found an apartment in a small city west of Denver.
This is the year of the Rat 鼠, (shu3), for those who don't know. That means it is my 本命年 (ben3 ming4 nian2), or "Year of Personal Destiny." (my translation) Everyone has one, and it occurs every 12 years, beginning with the year you were born, as the zodiacal cycle repeats.
I've heard that your personal Year of Destiny is either really good or really bad, no in-betweens. The year of the rat began in early February in 2008, and about a month later, things started to fall into place. First with a job offer, then an apartment offer.
WEIRD SIDE NOTE: Here's a little tidbit of information about Chinese years, not related to the Animal Years thing. In Taiwan, years are officially written as Republic of China Year X. Where the current (Western) year = 1911+X. So, if you see Republic of China Year 90, it really means 2001. Quiz! What is this year in Taiwanese years? Ding! 97.
This is because the Republic of China began in 1911, replacing the Qing Dynasty, and Taiwan recognizes that instead of the PRC which started in 1949. The PRC uses the regular year system.
In your Year of Personal Destiny, you are supposed to wear a 红腰带 (hong 2 yao1 dai4), or Red Belt, in order to secure a prosperous YOPD. I actually had one once, while I was working at China Today magazine back in 1996. I didn't actually wear it, but I did wrap it around my computer. It is basically a red ribbon or strip of cloth, or even a string.
It is meant to ward off evil and disaster, and to attract good fortune. Apparently, though, college girls in Hangzhou are using them as a weight loss device.
Red is usually a good luck color, along with gold. Black and white are mostly reserved for funereal-type affairs.
We'll see how the rest of the Rat pans out....