Today the official festival marking the one true unifying pastime of this country: National BBQ Day. Formerly known as Mid-Autumn Festival. It was hot and clear, nothing autumnal about it.
You all moseyed over to the primary school with its attractive tree-shaded wooden cabin and jolly plasic playground equipment, and hung around there with snacks and coffees while jiejie and didi clambered, slid and seesawed to their hearts’ content. No-one else around, children or adults. At 7-Eleven the owner said everyone was barbecuing over at the riverside park. The park that is entered via a flight of steps on the outer wall and a ramp down the other side past a big red sign reading: “Strictly No Barbecuing In The Riverside Park”.
Unconventional mooncakes in the evening: mochi with icecream filling. Then up to the roof to see the moon, as clear and bright as you could wish for. The air up there is warm and still, thick with the scent of barbecue.
After dinner you’re off to the airport to pick up a VVIP after her 16-hour journey here to see the grandkids. On a metro platform, you’re looking dopily at the map of multiple exits from the Main Station. A man breaks away from the flow of people coming off an escalator to talk to you: Excuse me, Sir, he says. You need to go to bed earlier! Then he’s gone. Cheeky sod, but he’s got a point.
Almost round. On the air