June 16, 2010

So today was Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan.

The morning started off rather nice. It looked like it was going to be a fair day. Around lunch time my friend Cliff had called to invite me to lunch. A friend of his was in from Shinjou (?), somewhere near Taipei. I probably have the spelling wrong, and I do apologize for anyone living there. I’m not even sure where it is.

After a nice lunch of grilled steak (mmmm), went back home to continue with some printing. In the past year, I have purchased 3 printers. Each of which has broken down in some way. Yes, they probably could be repaired, but the waiting and cost of getting them repaired is almost as expensive as just buying a new one. A while back I jokingly talked about the life of computers (1 computer year = 25 human years). Well, printers is even worse. It’s like buying a new car. The moment you drive a new car off the lot, it has already depreciated in value. Printers are the same. By the time you hook the new one up at home, use it for a week or two, it is already getting old.

The 3 printers that I took back to the store and told them they could keep, the store doesn’t even sell any more. One of the salesclerks just kept saying ‘… too old…’ even though I was trying to say 6 months!! Okay so my guess is that one year in a printer’s life is very close to 100 human years. But that’s only a guess.

After getting the new one home and operational, then it was time to head over to the Dragon Boat Festival races. The information I was able to obtain said that the races began at 6pm. Okay, so here it was 5:30pm, and I was just heading over. I figured if the races in Taiwan were anything like a Taiwan wedding, you arrive just in time for the good stuff, and then everyone leaves.

Met Cliff and his friend, and they didn’t want to stick around. However, I was determined to get some pictures. This was the first time in 8 years that I have had a chance to see SOMETHING, and I was going to get some pictures to remember it by. I suppose I could have had someone take pictures of the races in Vancouver for me, for all the difference it made. However, I was able to find a spot an snap a few pics.

Apparently, in some cities like Taipei, there are so many teams wanting to participate in the race, that the races actually begin about a week earlier. The races that take place today are for the winners of the various ‘pre’-races.

Scenario of what I saw: 3 boats lined up at the start… gun fire… drummers start drumming… people yelling… rowers rowing madly… lots of noise… 30-45 seconds later, race done, someone won… boats are ‘towed’ back to start area… 3 new boats get ready… all done again…

I suppose there’s more to it than that, but how this relates to the actual story of Dragon Boat Festival? The drums banging, and I suppose with the rowers hitting the water, this is what ‘scares’ the fish away. Frankly, I don’t want to believe that any fish live in that canal water to begin with. But for the 1/2 hour or so that I was there taking pics, it was entertaining.

As with any gathering of Taiwan people, there are the traditional stalls set up selling various stuff. Food, food, food, and tea. I didn’t bother having a look since to me, it’s like going to night market. And the only edible product that I’ve seen being sold that is even remotely similar to North American ‘carnival’ fare are corn dogs.

Met up with Cliff and his friend again downtown. We ended up going to a Thai restaurant for dinner. Not bad. There have been other Thai restaurants in Tainan that we’ve been to that are, in my opinion, a lot better. Nonetheless, dinner and then back home. Finished off the rest of the printing, and well, that was my day off.

Attached are a few pictures.


1 Comment

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One response to “June 16, 2010

  1. Marie

    Our Dragon boat races are held in July and it’s a fundraiser for breast cancer. Women come from all over the place to win the race and raise money for breast cancer research and best of all to win the race against breast cancer. There are alot of pretty amazing women who enter this race. There are 2 categories of races: One is for survivors of breast cancer and the other is for anyone who can put a team together and raise the required minimum donations.

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