DSC04823Traffic was gridlocked, so we were forced to take the subway to arrive at our restaurant/theater venue on time. It was a holiday Saturday of a three-day weekend for most Chinese, and it was dinnertime! Aaarrrggghhh!DSC04825

Push, shove, walk, walk, walk, push shove, walk, walk, walk, repeat! On the subway platforms were hired “pushers,” equipped with what looked like bicycle handlebars on a pole, to “assist” those trying to cram into each subway car. Lord, have mercy, what a job!

DSC04833Dinner was bamboo steamer basket after basket of DUMPLINGS! It was a traditional dumpling feast specific to the Duanwu Festival, a.k.a. Dragon Boat Festival, a.k.a. Dumpling Festival! (Seriously, it’s a traditional and statutory holiday called by all those names, look it up!)DSC04848

In each basket, there were two kinds of dumplings, four of each, for the four of us to sample. The duck ones were shaped like little ducks, and there were chickens, fish, shrimp, pork, hedgehogs… Well, that’s what they looked like to me, but maybe they were little dragons! (Does that mean I might have unknowingly eaten dragon meat?)

And to think—someone had to learn to create this culinary amazement! Best of allDSC04840, I got to eat all but the tofu ones, as soy was only used as a dipping option. Yea! All in all, we had 16 different dumplings, plus sides—carrots, green beans, little fried dough balls, and even soup with tiny dumplings!

Unfortunately, I got so busy enjoying my meal, I didn’t take any pictures once the baskets started arriving two by two.DSC04853

After dinner, we were ushered into a full-size live-stage theater where the story of the Tang Dynasty was told through music and dance. The performers belonged to the Tang Dynasty Dance Troupe, and I instantly giggled, thinking of the June Taylor Dancers (you have to be my age or better to get that!)

DSC04858Fabulous costumes! Interesting and educational entertainment! I’m glad I went—just this once. It was not “music” I’d likely choose to listen to again, very high-pitched and almost squeaky (I don’t like opera, either). But in this place, and at this time, it was PERFECT!