Sunday 27 February 2005
The whole family went to Auckland's annual Lantern Festival last night, marking the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. It's quite an experience --- lots of crafts and activities in tents in Albert Park, all kinds of Asian food stalls on Princes Street, huge crowds everywhere, and of course thousands of lanterns. We had a wonderful time. The highlight was a Chinese opera troupe at the end, many of them doing amazing things on stilts.
Quite a few kids got separated from their parents in the crushing crowds. I expect they were eventually reunited but I hate to imagine what a parent goes through in that situation. I wonder why we don't have some sort of RF tracking bracelet for kids to wear in such situations. Fortunately our kids are still small enough to carry, not only for safety but also to see what's going on.
In my memory Albert Park is simply and only the park I enjoyed during my undergrad years (being adjacent to the university), and I hadn't been there since I got back. It was strange to be back, yet only barely able to recognize the familiar paths and greenery beneath the festival apparatus. But it was also wonderful.
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