The fireworks associated with Chinese New Year get so bad that any sane person is forced to leave. I had to chuckle the other day when Ctrip, my favorite on-line Chinese travel agency posted a cartoon on their website depicting a woman realizing that she needed to escape the country, but lacked travel reservations.

There was an article in China Daily yesterday talking about the incredible rise this year in fireworks related injuries in Beijing, as the holiday approaches. Not surprising when the size of the products you can buy here rivals anything you would see in a professional show in the US. Most nights this week I sat and ate dinner watching the bursts just below the level of my apartment. When you consider that the average retail product here could more than likely shoot down an airplane, you might find it interesting to know that someone was setting them off at the end of the Dalian Airport runway yesterday afternoon while I was waiting for a flight. I was watching a Hainan Airlines 737 taxiing down the tarmac towards its turn to the takeoff runway and “boom” up go a stream of rockets just behind the plane. Can you imagine that in a civilized part of the world?

The view while landing last night in Beijing was quite incredible. It was remarkably clear for a change and because of this I could see fireworks exploding all across the horizon in a never ending series of yellow, white and red blasts just above the bright city lights. Like so many millions of Fireflies sparkling away on a June evening in New England. My friend Mike remarked that it looked like we were landing in a war zone, I wondered for a moment how they manage to keep the glide path clear which I’m they don’t and I hoped someone wouldn’t find it amusing to send off a rocket in front of my plane. With nothing to do but watch, I sat back and enjoyed the show, silent stars in the inky black.