The Dragonboat Festival

The Dragonboat Festival

The Dragonboat Festival

There are quite a few holidays in China and currently we are celebrating the Dragonboat Festival. The story behind this holiday is long and tragic, interestingly a lot of people here know all the details. The very short summary is that this day commemorates the death of a famous politician and poet, roughly 300 B.C. He was exiled for treason when he opposed an alliance with another state. He later committed suicide when exactly this state invaded the city he was exiled to.

He was popular at that time and when he jumped off a bridge, his supporters rushed to their boats to save him. When they saw it was impossible, they wanted to at least recover the body unharmed. They threw loads of sticky rice balls in the water so the fish would eat the rice instead of the body.

Guess what people do today? Exactly. Race boats and eat sticky rice balls.

Since the holiday is on a Tuesday, it is quite normal to work Saturday to make up for an extra day off on Monday. That leaves a three day weekend and the city is absolutely packed – especially the standard tourist spots, exactly where I ended up taking pictures.


The historic center of Shanghai (or what’s left of it) is on the west side of the Huganpu River. The skyline the most people associate with Shanghai is on the east side and is called Pudong.

Most of the iconic highrise buildings are in Shanghai’s financial district. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the front is some 20 years old. The world’s tallest building, the Shanghai Tower, has just been finished in 2015. [Edit: It is not the world’s tallest structure, there it only comes in third, it has the world’s highest usable floor, which would be level 127… ]

I went to the Huangpu River to see a Dragonboat race. After following the river for more than 5 km on a Mobike, I realized I must have missed the biggest race. In the morning I had to wait for a furniture delivery (not everybody is on holiday) and unfortunately it was too late when I made it to the river.

Pictures of Dragonboats will follow, I promise – this won’t be the last Dragonboat Festival we spend in China. Enjoy the view of Pudong instead!

Dishwasher soap

I’ve been told that dishwashers are not very common in China. Most people wash their dishes by hand, don’t have dishes because they eat delivery food all the time (I am not joking), or have someone do the dishes for them. Lucky for us, our kitchen actually had a dishwasher. I was trying to find some some soap for the dishwasher, some ‘KlarspĆ¼ler’ and salt.

I went to a Chinese supermarket that offers some international product as well. It was not one of those crazy expensive stores that only have international brands. At the end, I bought a local salt, and international brand soap and ‘KlarspĆ¼ler’. And paid 295 CNY. That’s almost exactly 40 EUR.

At the current cheap rate for an Ayi (the Chinese house hold help) that money gets you a lot of clean dishes…

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