Today is the first day of the year of the pig. Last night a few of us had a bonfire on the roof of the guesthouse and watched the fireworks. The fireworks started at 10:30, and soon after that, and continuing all night, the text messages came. The system was obviously overloaded and this led to the messages coming all night. From students, colleagues, friends, etc. All wishing me happiness, success, and health in the new year (a few messages also wished that I would find a girlfriend). However, one of my favorite messages was from one of my second-year students, and it went something like this: “Happy lunar new year! I hope you will not feel lonely in our city because we–your students–are always beside you when you need. Good luck, vui ve [happiness].” Messages like this are always a mood elevator for me. I wish anyone who reads this a happy new year of the pig.

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