Well it’s late June again and with that comes Shanghai’s rainy season once again. The plum rains kicked off with a nice 12 hour downpour on the 18th and we have been getting little bits of rain everyday since then. Of course the 4 day work week is relatively un-rainy with the main blasts expected to start on our free Friday , a heavy downpour with thunderstorms all day Saturday continuing on to Sunday. Monday will see a clouds , with the rains picking up again on Tuesday and Wednesday. The next two to three weeks will continue on like this.
Hard to believe it was already a year ago my family picked the start of the rainy season to arrive for their first visit to China. It was quite fun wandering around Suzhou’s gardens trying to balance a camera underneath the umbrellas. Last summer I had two whole months off and traveled with my family throughout China (Shanghai , Suzhou , Hangzhou , Xian , Beijing) before heading off alone to Yunnan province and then finally dipping down into Laos. This summer will see myself working the whole time with no break until a Taiwan stop-off in October. While my mind might not quite be as satisfied my bank account will certainly be much happier. For next summer I think I hear India calling my name.
Along with the plum rains it means it’s time for the dragon boat festival. While the forecast doesn’t look too good for catching the boat races on the Suzhou river , I’m still gonna try.
Last year’s post had me explaining some of the history behind the dragon boat festival and this year with my new apartment I’ve caught something I didn’t encounter last year. People are hanging leaves from the Acorus and Artemisia plants outside of their doors in the hallways. On the way to work this morning I saw many older people carrying bunches of these leaves back home and heading up the 5 floors to my new apartment I saw about half of the apartments were hanging these branches. Apparently they have anti-toxin functions and also work to keep insects out. Sounds pretty good to me. I told my girlfriend to keep an eye out for them. Couldn’t hurt!