June 11, 2005

Dragon Boat Opera

This weekend, the National Dragon Boat race is being held in Penang. The three of us ended up hanging out under a tarp, watching the boats with the Penang team... we won three times! and cheered, ate cinnamon buns and talked about all the various religions and languages in Malaysia. Other teams were there from Australia, Germany, Japan, and the rest of South East Asia. Indonesia and China have the strongest teams because their government pays for them to train full time, where everyone else has their regular day jobs. Toronto was there last year and a couple commented they did really well (yay TO!). 6 boats race at a time, 10 rowers in each, with the drummer up front beating a rhythm for the paddles to follow. Everyone had very nice arms!

Tried durian... I may have to give it another chance. We ordered a small one which was white (yellow should be sweeter). First thing is getting over the non-juicy, slimy texture. The smell sticks around and apparently anyone speaking with you can identify it for the rest of the day. Washed away the taste with some mangosteins.

The evening was a traditional Chinese Opera. The actors do this for fun as a hobby to help keep the culture alive. A lot of banging drums, loud singing and bright sequence colours made for some great photos! Had a "back stage tour" to see the makeup being re-applied and heavy costumes changed. P


  1. jesse1:43 pm

    Durian's easier to get into if you try it in a milkshake form first. A fresh, non frozen one costs $30 in Chinatown, so make the most of it! Crazy how some people love durian to death...

    Getting used to different food textures is a good challenge for every adventure traveller. I have a thing for weird food - let me know when you eat bugs. :)

  2. Hey J: I'm off to Thailand tomorrow so there may be some bugs to talk about!!! P