It was the Dragon Boat Festival last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This is one of the truly awesome holidays in China, but only if you are one of the people in the boat, or if you completely stay away from the massive crowds, which we did. According to the unfortunates we know who went it was a sweltering mass of humanity of the type only found in places like China, and India. Of course no one can see the boats. It appears that it was as much fun for most people as the invasion of Manilla.
Our family went with surviving veterans of past Dragon Boat Festivals to our favorite local park, The Forest Park. It is located on the edge of town on a lake. There is an amusement park near the entrance, then you get to the garden area, which since we have been getting lots of tropical rain is luuuuuush. The further into the park you go, the more primitive it gets. You get to the lake, and a large pine and eucalyptus forest with trails.
One of the main features of the park is the barbecue. There are pits where you can do your own, but you really want to have the locals do chicken for you. There is a small village of about 5 or six houses, that make the best chicken I have ever had. They have small rock ovens, that they fire with pine needles, until they get glowing hot. Then they take a whole chicken that they just killed from one of the slower birds chasing bugs around the place. They stuff it with garlic, herbs and spices, wrap it in banana leaves and foil and toss it into the oven along with some sweet potatoes and corn. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
Because most of the city was playing "Where's Buddha?" on the other side of town, we enjoyed a quiet day in this tropical paradise. Good friends, family and food.