Sunday, June 12, 2011

In Which We Search for Dragon Boats

Last weekend was Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan. I thought we ought to watch a Dragon Boat race since it is part of the culture here. I asked a local where we should go to see the races and I thought she told me to go to Danshui. And so we did.

We rode the MRT... Danshui, the end of the line. It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day. (Unlike my previous visit which was cold and cloudy.)

Not knowing anything about where dragon boat races would be we decided to just walk into the main tourist area. Our plan was to enjoy our time and browse Danshui and if we found the races that would be a great bonus. (Good plan!)

We saw these set up next to the river. We hoped they had something to do with Dragon Boat Races, but we didn't know what they were.

We saw this, which has nothing to do with anything. At least nothing to do with anything related to Dragon Boat races. But I thought it was a little quirky that a picture of a British Royal Wedding was on display in the heart of Asia. And I, of course, was enthralled by the wedding, so it was necessary to take a picture.

But back to our quest.

We saw this figure all over town. I would guess he represents some god. He was handing out cookies with one hand and holding out a basket in the other. You were supposed to take the cookie and put coins in the basket. We politely declined. I am sure the funds would go toward building a new temple and we don't care to contribute to that.

We saw a cage full of Angry Birds.
The kids played carnival games.

(The first 2 blocks of the tourist area next to the river are reminiscent of a carnival or fair in America. Every stall houses either a game or a food vendor. In America the people in the game booths call out to you to come play their game while the food vendors quietly serve their food to throngs of people. Here the game booth employees were rather quiet but the food vendors all had microphones and loudspeakers and they all yelled incessantly.)

In a quieter, prettier part of town we saw a "round-about". I had to have pictures for my Dad because he loves round-abouts. Dad, you need to come to Taiwan! You could drive on a round-about!!

Back in the carnival area Eric and I decided to try a bit of something. Lots of vendors sold squid on a stick (I am not kidding) and we were obviously not about to try that. But when we saw a potato chip on a stick we thought we would give it a try.

I didn't like it. It was flavored with garlic powder and, though I am a huge fan of garlic and a fan of potato chips, for some reason the two together did not taste good to me.

We went on to a lovely riverside restaurant.

I had a coffee and ice cream beverage, the kids had ice cream sundaes and Eric had a meal. After my experience the previous weekend in Yingge I decided not to waste my money on a meal. I tried a bite of Eric's chicken dish and knew I had made the right decision.

We never did see anything hinting at Dragon Boat races.

After returning home I saw on Facebook that friends had attended races in other parts of Taipei and they posted pictures. The boats were nothing like the elaborate things I had envisioned. I am glad we spent our day wandering Danshui rather than watching a race someplace. We had a really nice day.


Joshua Rogers said...

You guys are so blessed to get to have experiences like this.

bristowmom said...

Yes we are. Thank you for reminding me!