China's Dragon Boat Festival commemorates a poet and public official who committed suicide more than 2,000 years ago. This year, the festival fell at the beginning of June and we had a long weekend. A Chinese colleague kindly invited me along on a family outing with his wife and cute little daughter. Zhangdian District, where we live, doesn't have a large enough body of water for dragon boat races, so we went to a nearby man-made lake, site of a very posh residential development, to see dragon boats and to try our hand at making zonghzi, the glutinous rice treat traditionally associated with this festival.
Another resident of the fish farm is a Mynah bird in a cage, who greeted us by cawing "Ni Hao." Just for a split-second I was startled that the bird said "Hello" in a foreign language -- how amazing is that(!).... oh, right.
I thought of my hubby Ross as I watched some men fishing from the bank -- I hope he'll have opportunities to pursue his favorite pastime when he joins me in China. I think he'd like this spot -- so relaxing -- at least for those of us at the top of the food chain. In addition to the fish in the water, there were chickens and roosters scuttling about in the underbrush, right next to the kitchen. The kitchen was a tiny little shack separate from the main building, out of which at regular intervals the staff would emerge with platter after platter of fresh goodies.
We ate a delicious lunch on the patio, featuring fish, chicken, tiny crabs, green beans, and dumplings. What a privilege to experience life in China in this way, with happy families enjoying time together on a long weekend.