Tag Archive | Chinese New Year

‘Amtrak Downeaster’ From Dover, N.H. To Boston, North Station: Not Bad At All, BUT Slow & Expensive!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.




We are not strangers to Amtrak. We have taken Amtrak — and even the Acela — from Boston to New York (and back, and even once from Philadelphia) many, many times. But, the ‘Downeaster’ was a mystery — a service that I had never previously considered. Plus, it is strange, it is not something that readily comes to mind because I rarely see ‘Downeaster’ trains in action.

But, this last Sunday, heading to Boston Chinatown for the Lunar New Year celebrations I decided to give the ‘Downeaster’ a spin. It came up as an option when I was Googling bus services. Yes, I normally drive to Boston. I have no problems driving to Boston, though parking can be slightly infuriating. But, I had done a lot of driving in the past month — which had included trips to Boston, Rockland (Maine) and a number of trips to the Portsmouth area. I wanted to sit back and let someone else drive.

Given that there are three of us taking the bus, either from Dover or Concord, would have been cheaper. With the 50% discount I can get as a senior the $28 return-trip fare is definitely fair. But, when you are talking of a family of 3 or 4, even if you can get 50% off on all the tickets, it is expensive. Cheaper to drive, especially on a Sunday when you can park in Boston for ~$11.

But, I wanted to go by train. We haven’t had a proper train trip in 4-years. It was time. It was relaxing. It was nice.

It was not fast. I clocked it using GPS. Was doing around 55mph. 98 minutes from Dover to North Station. In a good day I can drive from home to Downtown Boston in 90 minutes. So, faster speed definitely is not factor.

Nice scenic route. Through tons of undeveloped land. Much more scenic than taking I-93 or I-95. That was a plus.

Good trip. Enjoyed it. I will do it again — mainly just for the love of traveling by train.


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by Anura Guruge

Chinese Lunar New Year 2020 Celebrations Disrupted, Facemasks Abound — But, Boston Still A ‘Go’.

by Anura Guruge


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A quick search on ‘Google News’.



Nothing surprising here. This was to be expected and I am, in reality, amazed that more celebrations have not been cancelled. Boston is a case in point. It is still a go and we have been talking about it multiple times today. Do we go or do we give it a miss. Wife, who invariably is the one more cautious, says she has no problem going. So, it is my call.

We went to an event yesterday. But, that was rather contained in terms of the number of Chinese there — though I appreciate that you only need one carrier.

I will also confess that I do not want to eat Dim Sum, at our China Pearl, if all the staff are wearing face masks. That will just be to off putting. Yes, we have been there when one or two have worn masks because they had a ‘cold’. But, being served my masked servers will seem odd. Strange.

We still have time. We can wait till the last minute.

As I said yesterday, the timing of this 2020 coronavirus outbreak could NOT have been any WORSE!

I will keep you posted.


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by Anura Guruge

Coronavirus 2020: I Think I Smell A Rat As It Relates To The ‘Year Of The Rat’!

by Anura Guruge


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Click image to access original coverage.


Click image to access original coverage from the U.K. ‘Daily Mail’.


The timing of this 2020 coronavirus outbreak could NOT have been any WORSE!

That is why I, an avowed cynic, was getting convinced today that I was smelling a rat when it came to the timing of this virus outbreak. It could not have been any worse in terms of impacting and crippling the 2020 Chinese New Year — the Year of the Rat.

Plans for New Year celebrations have been devastated. For one a lot of people in China are being precluded from traveling. Others, wisely, are avoiding going out and mingling with others.

I ran into that problem this morning. Should we go to the ‘Confucius Institute’ event at UNH today. Yes, we knew there would be a fair number of Chinese — some who probably visited China in the last few weeks. Furthermore there were two suspected cases of the virus in New Hampshire — albeit neither in Durham. I pondered, long & hard. I knew my friends at the Institute would be doing everything they could do minimize the risk. [I was right. They had cut back on personnel to a minimum. It was low-key and unstated but I noticed and appreciated.] I wanted to go to show my solidarity and support. In the end we went.

Going to Boston Chinatown, on a Sunday, is a different matter. A whole load more of people — many who might have visited China in the recent past. Not good. Not good for Chinatown. Not good for us. I like going to Chinatown for Chinese New Year.

I smell a rat. Yes, others have put forward conspiracy theories. I do subscribe to one of this.

This virus has done much, much, much more damage to the Chinese economy, prestige and standing than any tariffs. It will put a huge dent in their GDP for at least a year. Not good.

I smell a rat!


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by Anura Guruge

‘Confucius Institute’, UNH (Durham, NH) Terracotta Warriors & Qin Bamboo Slips Exhibition — Just OUTSTANDING!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. All information is in the poster.



A short, 1.55 minute YouTube video I shot
(and shooting videos is not my thing).


Click to ENLARGE and read here.


With Yaling Liu, the Director of the Confucius Institute at UNH.




Absolutely astounding!

Bravo & Kudos.

Thank YOU ‘Confucius Institute’ at UNH (Durham).

Thank YOU Drs. Yige Wang & Yaling Liu, the two dedicated, committed and tireless Directors of the ‘Confucius Institute’.

What an exhibition. What a cultural and historical gem & delight for us in New Hampshire.

Over 200 NH students got to see the army & bamboo slips and, moreover, to make some terracotta statues and bamboo slips. How great is that. Something that they will remember and treasure for years to come.


Confucius Institute‘ at UNH has the Midas touch. Everything they do turns out magical, touched with gold.

We are so lucky to have them in New Hampshire — and with their tireless commitment to share their wealth of culture, knowledge and hospitality with the locals.

This, as I have already stated, is a FREE event, open to the PUBLIC — until January 30, 2020.

This exhibition is to mark the Chinese New Year 2020.

The Institute bought the statues and the bamboo slips. They will remain, by and large, at UNH — though some statues will be loaned to other universities. That is wonderful.

We had a great time. I knew we would. This is probably the eight or ninth event we have been to. They have all been outstanding.

I was determined that the concerns about the coronavirus will not deter us. We were going to show our support. So, glad we did. Nicest folks ever. Thank YOU.


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by Anura Guruge

Christmas Has Come & Gone, And Garmin Still Hasn’t Sold All 100, $10,000 MARQ 5-Watch, ‘Signature Sets’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here. Link to Garmin’s product page for this limited edition set appears below.


Link to Garmin’s product page this limited edition 5-unit MARQ set.


Click image to access my December 9, 2019 post.


I can’t say I am surprised. This is an outlandish extravaganza — though there are a lot of folks out there who could easily afford it. But, to be honest I don’t see why it would be compelling and that comes from a man who traded in his MARQ Expedition for a second Garmin Fenix 6, albeit the second in Titanium.

Would love to know how many Garmin has really sold. Garmin made it very clear that they were targeting it for Christmas. Well, Christmas has come and gone.

Well, I guess they still have two other opportunities: Chinese New Year and, of course, Valentine’s. Hence, I will keep on checking over the next couple of weeks and keep you posted. Would be a hoot if they do sell all 100 by Valentine’s.

Keep fingers crossed. SMILE.


I do keep track of my Activity Trackers.

Click to ENLARGE.


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by Anura Guruge

2020 Chinese New Year, The HOP At Dartmouth (NH) Also Offering Free Event — A Concert.

by Anura Guruge



Click here for the HOP events page listing.


This should be quite the event. I am glad that they are doing it. This is the first time I have seen the HOP do an event for Chinese New Year — BUT, I could very well have missed them.

Now, as you know the UNH is also doing a free event which I have already talked about. That is this. So, you now have two free events. Wow.

Click image to access my post.


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by Anura Guruge

2020 Chinese New Year, Free Event At ‘Confucius Institute’, UNH (Durham, NH) — Terracotta Warriors & Qin Bamboo Slips.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. All information is in the poster.



Click here for the UNH events page listing.


4-minute BBC documentary if you are not familiar with this
Terracotta Warriors — the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century.


The 2020 iteration of the now yearly event being presented by my friends at the UNH ‘Confucius Institute‘.

This is their traditional, yearly celebration in late-January/early-February for the Chinese New Year – this being the “Year of the Rat“.

As ever it is a FREE event, open to the public. We have gone to these nearly every year. Without fail they are extremely good and a great bunch of people. Very friendly. Very hospitable.

This should be GOOD, very good. The UNH Confucius Institute specializes in EXCELLENCE. They never disappoint. That is part of their ethos and it is impressive.

Last year it was Chinese umbrella making. Check this blog for many posts on that outstanding event.

Qin dynasty bamboo slips.


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by Anura Guruge

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