In China, Labor Day is a perfect day for barbecue. There is nothing better than driving up to the local swimming hole and barbecuing by the water. Although it is too cold to swim this time of year, the adults could relax and chat while the children hunt for crabs under rocks. I enjoyed the outing with some colleagues from the kindergarten. We left for Xia Lao Xi 下牢溪 at around 9 AM on a trip that should have taken 40 minutes. We arrived just after 11 AM--just in time for lunch.
We had barbecued skewers over a small charcoal grill that sat on the ledge overlooking the water. There were a few other groups but there was no crowd that the morning's traffic suggested. Everyone shared the space with a few exceptions like a woman who thought to hang a plastic bag filled with freshly caught crabs from the knot of a tree. I took it upon myself at take that bag and free the 5 or 6 little critters down river. Although they had been sitting in that warm dry bag for over an hour, they wasted no time and showed no sign of wear from with time in captivity as I released them and watched them scurry beneath the mud.
I was able to make an impression by introducing my friends to barbecued pineapple and barbecued tomatoes. It had never occurred to them to see what heat would do to a pineapple but it quickly became a hit. After I grilled up the first pineapple, the other three pineapples got the same treatment. All the while, the children played.
The English language Internet has information about the Xia Lao Xi bridge. It is an impressive site, which was in view of where we enjoyed out outing. But the bridge was only park of the scenery; something to look at for a few minutes while enjoying a beer with the cool water trickling between your toes.