i went to the cafe this morning to take my mother and my sister's godmother to the dragon boat festival happening on the shores of the charles river by harvard square. the dragon boat festival never really interested me - i usually try to get far away from any event that features a lot of chinese people - and the last time i went was back in 2004. it was a pleasant day although a bit windy. we biked there, my sister's godmother riding a bike for the first time in a long time. traffic was light on this sunday as we leisurely made our way to the river. we were there early enough that only a small stretch of memorial drive was closed (more would be closed later on). the dragon boat races had been happening since yesterday, down my MIT. today the races relocated to harvard, along with a festival.
we were also meeting my sister, who decided she would walk to harvard square along with the dog and one of the children she occasionally does nanny duties for. i decided to walk a bit further to get better photos while my mother and sister's godmother waited behind for my sister to show up.
i think most of the rowers could care less about the duanwu festival or know the history behind dragon boats. a lot were there because of corporate sponsors or club participants, just an excuse to hang out with friends and coworkers. on the opposite shore were tents for the various teams. it made me dizzy seeing so many chinese people, which is ironic considering i just returned from china.
i met my mother and sister's godmother back by the performance tent, where we grabbed some seats in anticipation of the opening ceremony happening at noontime. they'd met my sister who disappeared to take her child care to a rendezvous point where her parents could come and pick her up. the first performance was drum dancing; i was completely disinterested and asked my mother if she knew how to get back to the cafe on her own. my mother wasn't interested in the performances either so we left to go find my sister.
my sister wasn't going to leave until she got something to eat from the food truck. she needed my mother because she only brought $5 in cash (although i noticed some of the trucks take credit card). we ended up each getting a $7 combo from the chicken & rice guys. i'd seen them before but never thought to eat there. i got the chicken/lamb/beef medley which was actually really good (maybe i was just hungry). the best part is the self-serve sauces: barbecue, hot sauce, garlic mayonnaise, cilantro (i tried all of them). while my mother and sister's godmother sat by the crowded curb, my sister (and hailey) and i elected to sit behind the trucks, on the lawn leaning against a university fence.
after we finished eating, we went our separate ways: my mother, sister's godmother, and i biking back to the cafe; my sister walking back with hailey. along the way i picked up a discarded hardcover book to be converted into another hollow book safe.
at the cafe we ate the rainier cherries i picked up from haymarket yesterday. my mother and i rode our bikes to belmont.
when my father came home we had dinner. my sister gave us some thick garlic scapes that smelled nice when my mother cut them into smaller pieces but somehow lost their flavor once they were cooked. i returned home afterwards. i found myself watching the tony awards, which is something i never do, just to see how many awards hamilton ended up winning (11). at 9pm i switched to HBO to watch the latest episode of game of thrones.