Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.


The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

Mexican Auto Insurance

This company has been with us since 2008. They are the oldest and best established insurer for those of you travelling to Mexico.
Mexico Insurance

Chinese New Year 2011

The Year of the Rabbit

The Year of the Rabbit

We have been a tad busy for the New Year!

For starters, we watched the Super Bowl with Al, Judy, Betty and Dick in Los Algodones at El Paraiso. Betty, who had the boob job here in Mexicali had on a fitted white shirt. She looked phenomenal!

And then… there was Chinese New Year that kicked in on the 3rd of February, bringing in the Year of the Rabbit. The Chinese Zodiac has a 12 year cycle-starting with Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

For those who want kids, many people are planning for babies, targeting the Year of the Dragon, in 2012. Dragons are the best. You will see an explosion of babies worldwide.

New Year's Feast!

New Year's Feast!

In Mexicali, business goes on as usual, and this Chinese festival, the mother load of all Chinese festival holidays, were celebrated in Calexico. We were invited to Wellington Chan’s home for the New Year, where his family prepared a big feast for family and friends. We met Wellington in Calexico, while Jim was changing money. Wellington just started a small money changer’s business, and after many visits, Wellington said, “You are invited to join my family for Chinese New Year dinner. You must come!”

We did, and the dinner was a family feast.

For the Chinese, there had to be a menu of meat, seafood, vegetables, long-life noodles and rice. Wellington, the head of the family, enjoyed his beer and so did we. We had a ball! We are very honored to be included as friends of Wellington and his family.

We attended another Chinese New Year’s big event held by the owners of Yum Yum’s in Calexico a town of 30,000 people. Calexico is right across the border from Mexicali. Calexico’s name comes from the mix of California and Mexico.

This is the annual festival dinner that the Wongs have in their restaurant Yum Yum’s, the best Chinese restaurant in Calexico. All of Calexico’s ‘who’s who’ were there-the Mayor, city council people, the Chief of Police, and long term residents of Calexico.

I sat next to a delightful retired school teacher, Lu Lu, who informed me, “Mexicali was a town of people who all spoke English in the early days. But now, everyone there speaks Spanish.”

“Tell me more Lu Lu,” as I tucked into my noodles.”

“I was born here, and that was years ago. We have a 91 year old lady that lives in a house that her father built for her. A very nice house just a couple of streets from here. Calexico has a great educational system, from kindergarten right up to college. There’s the San Diego State University just up the road. In fact, Calexico is also a popular town for movie making. The movie, ‘Losin It,’ starring Tom Cruise was made right here in Calexico.” said Lu Lu. “Imagine that, until we came to Mexicali, we had never even heard of Calexico!” I said, tucking in more noodles. “This Chinese food is delicious, and I can’t stop eating it. Please, you have to excuse me!”

“Not at all, we come here every week and we leave it to the owner to order two of his specials for the day! Keeping our weights down is always an ongoing thing.” gushed Lu Lu. “You’re tellin’ me!” I said, as I finally put down my fork. “So tell me more.”

“Well, Calexico was founded in 1899, and it started off as a tent city for the Imperial Land Company that was owned by a Canadian-born engineer, named George Chaffey, George and his brother, William, who developed large parts of Southern California in the early 20th century. Chaffey’s company laid out the cities of Calexico, Heber, Imperial, Brawley and Mexicali in Mexico. Calexico now, has the highest population of Latinos of any city in the US.” continued Lu Lu, as she was speaking to her student.

“Go on…” I said as I looked intently at this wise senior. “Calexico was almost named Santo Thomas, or Thomasville! The first post-office was opened in 1902. And here in the Imperial Valley, agriculture is a big thriving business. Calexico is now the hub, where all business must go through, from Mexicali, to San Diego, Los Angeles, to Yuma and Phoenix. Oh and on the 25th of March, we have our Mariachi Festival.” said Lu Lu.

“Being bi-lingual here is normal.” she said.

“I’m workin’ on mine Lu Lu…but continue please!” I smiled happily.

“You’re not bored?” asked Lu Lu.

“Not at all,” I said.

“Well, we have the Calexico International Airport and we even have the railroads coming from Mexicali, with the main line going to Portland, Oregon, Rock Island, Illinois, Tucumcari, New Mexico, St Louis Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana. And of course, lately, we have the big earthquake.” she said.

“Tell me about it? The 7.2 was bigger than the one in Haiti, and relatively speaking, there was far less damage.” I pondered.

“We never had earthquakes.” said Lu Lu.

“Oh well, it is God’s will,” I said. And we both nodded.

Right at this point, our conversation was interrupted by the banging of drums and gongs, to introduce the entry of the Chinese Lion Dancers-3 huge lions, (dancers underneath), entering Yum Yum’s. The lion heads came in red, orange and yellow.

“This is amazing Lu Lu, first time I have seen this up close!” I looked on in awe.

“This is to bring good luck to the business. There is much Chinese folklore as to the origin of the Lion Dance. One story is that the Tang Dynasty emperor dreamt of a beast, and he was told that it was a lion. Another has it that a village was plagued by a beast. The Ox and the Tiger could not help. So the villagers asked the Lion. He said yes, and he rushed out to the beast. The lion raised his mighty head, and shook his mane. The Lion attacked the beast, and injured it and the beast ran away. The emperor heard of this, and wanted to see the Lion. But the Lion was too busy protecting the villagers from the wounded beast. So men dressed themselves up as the Lion and performed a lion dance for the emperor”, continued Lu Lu.

“All these young men who perform these dances are from the Calexico Martial Arts School…just right across from here,” said Lu Lu.

Lion Dancers

Lion Dancers

“When the dance is finished, Mr. Wong, the owner will give them a red packet, called an ‘Ang Pow,’ which contains money.”

“Lu Lu, you are a walking encyclopedia!” I said.

“Well, thank you. I am one-fourth Chinese, one-half English, and one-fourth Spanish.” smiled Lu Lu.

Calexico is a real nice town.

6 comments to Chinese New Year 2011

  • Janet K

    This is fascinating! You go girl! find your daddy…………..

  • Susana Ramirez

    I will go in person to talk to them. This family is in Mexicali!

  • Interesting, but there may be a number of Mr. Wongs in this area. The one we know is not in Mexicali. Did your email come from the last building on Carl Road?
    God Bless,

  • Susana Ramirez Villa

    My mother married and my stepdad registered me
    as his daughter. This secret was revealed by
    Family friend. Would like to confirm with DNA. I
    Have a small memory of my father. He cooked for
    My mother, brother and me. I always visited restaurant
    When young and ate for free. Never knew why!

  • Susana Ramirez Villa

    I just found out Mr Wong is my direct relative.
    My mother Maria Consuelo Villa Núñez worked
    In this restaurant and met one of Mr Wong sons.
    I was borned from that relationship and I believe
    My father died when I was young. I was borned
    On Sep 25, 1967 and my name is Susana.

  • chinese new year 2011 mexicali   Articles Images In - Top Pictures |

    […] Read the original: Chinese New Year 2011 | Mexicali […]

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>