Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's coming...

It's almost Chinese New Years and a lot of people here are travelling to visit family in other places in China for the holiday. Tonight a few of us from the office went out to dinner along a street that is frequented by college students, but most of the students have left for the holiday, so it is like a ghost town around there. Most of the shops and restaurants down there are closed for the holiday too and in some places they do not even turn on the street lights. It was kind of eerie since it was only 6:00pm, but seemed like 3:00am. Then you come back to Dalian Software Park and everything seems normal.

I have no real plans for the upcoming holiday, but I will probably spend part of it doing my U.S. taxes. I spent the last few days reading IRS Publication 54 - Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, and discovered that to the IRS I was not a bona fide resident of China during 2005. It seems they have several criteria and the one I come closest to matching is someone who lived in another country for 330 days, and I only lived in China for 317 days in 2005 so I am not entitled to some salary exclusions. That's a drag. Anyway, I am sure I can find enough deductions for moving, housing, etc... so that my tax bill won't be too bad. The only thing worrying me is the ordeal of sending any payments... I have not had the best luck with banks here.

Other than that, I think I am going to relax and maybe do some reading. I had a friend bring me a book back from Canada which is not sold here (since it portrays Mao as the brutal totalitarian he really was), and I want to finish that. Some co-workers also invited me over to have dinner with their families during the holiday and I'm looking forward to that. There should also be some good fireworks going on most nights, but it might be too cold to go out and watch those. I still have not found where they sell those yet, but am still looking.


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