Yesterday was May Day, or International Labor Day, whichever you’d prefer. It was celebrated in various ways around the world–protests in Seattle and Istanbul, and an odd mix of parade and support for Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
In China, it’s a couple days off for almost everyone (it used to be a full week, but the government split up the holiday to give more time to more traditional holidays). Of course, in typical employer fashion, the days off are made up by having employees work a couple extra days on weekends. During my second year teaching in China we were give New Year’s Day off, which fell on a Friday, so we had a three-day week, but we had to work on Saturday and Sunday to make up for the lost workday. I’m still confused by that one.
My first and last May holiday trip was to Jiuzhaigou–it was an amazing trip, but the crowds were awful. My second year, I took a local trip to the Dameisha (大梅沙) beach with the language training center. It wasn’t warm enough to go swimming, and the water isn’t all that clean anyway. It’s still a popular destination in a city that even locals refer to as a “cultural desert.” It was still an excuse to get out, despite a rather half-assed bus ride “home” to the middle of nowhere with no taxis in sight to actually take me home.