The past couple of days I was able to take some time off and rest during the Duan Wu, double fifth or as it’s most commonly called the “Dragon Boat Festival”. No sadly I didn’t see any dragons, boats or anything that was the melding of those two things, but I did have a chance to rest, which is good.
Monday was a rest day because Sunday night was a bad food night. I must’ve eaten something that didn’t set well. (If my mother is reading, don’t worry I’m fine) So that Monday after some early work (yes on a holiday) I took a good long rest. That night I got out and saw the city in the night. Many of the lights that had previously been turned off were now lit in honor of the festival.
I walked around down by the Olympic sailing center smelled the night air and heard the sound of the TV’s playing the World Cup as I walked past bars and restaurants full of patrons with their eyes fixed on the TV’s. It seems that our cultures aren’t so different in that respect.
The next day I was stuck in front of my computer working on my online class. (holiday smoliday)
However Wednesday was my day. I decided to explore, I figured out what the word for explore was in Chinese and got to use it as I saw “Strong” walking on my way out. I had a rule that day. No English whatsoever.
So I jumped on one bus and walked up another trying to find another bus which was to take me to my next destination. I was feeling good, but still weary after a rough food day a few days back so I was skeptical of street food, until I happened upon a couple selling scorpions.
I stopped and walked back to the scorpions and looked them over as they crawled around in their big bowl over each other. I’ve always had this little dream of eating strange foods after many times watching travel channel specials on many different countries. (brain is on the list). I exchange pleasantries with the
scorpion salesman and ask him how much and if it’s good.
I sit down and watch him cook up my demise or victory as the other vendor next to him asked me if I’d like my fortune told, which then just turns into me trying to understand his dialect. He cooked them thoroughly in his concoction of soy sauce and who knows what, and then seasoned them with some spices.
I ate one and I was completely sold. Better than Popcorn Chicken.
With my new-found adventurous fury about me; I walked the streets, found my bus and went from next interesting spot to the next. I walked around with a little internal dialogue that seemed to follow me like a camera crew was following close behind. (Maybe I have been watching too much Travel Channel)
If I had my own show I imagine I’d also tend to monologue like Anthony Bourdain. Maybe like this:
“As I walk through the streets seeing young mothers chasing their children as older men play cards on the street corners I think about all the similarities life in China draws to my life. Besides the fact that I can walk down most streets in the U.S. without people looking at the big American and wondering what he’s doing there, life in China follows the basic understanding that we are all human. It’s not just that we breathe, and walk on the earth that makes us human, but something greater that binds us together.
I’m not going to get all mushy cause that’s not my style, but when you think about it we all laugh, love, eat, tell stories and enjoy the company of good friends and good spirits. Those things make us all human. They make us all alive…
We’re all not that different. We may eat different food, dance to different music and speak different languages; but in my time traveling I’ve come to realize that simple fact.”
Below are a few pictures of my time during the holiday; Scorpion and all. The little green things are Zong zi which are common during the festival time. One had a date in it and the other had bean paste, the one with bean paste was better. Other photos are just photos I snapped while walking around during the holiday.
If you want a video of me eating the scorpions then click the link below.