20080606: work

So it feels like life is finally back to ‘normal’, with work requirements kicking in. The cats have also noticeably increased their yawn frequency, so either I’m talking to them more, or it’s hot and humid nowadays.
Setting up a system so that our customers can check order status online. Very clever and free and legal software. It is clever because it is easy to use for us. This Monday is Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie, Jie = Festival, as in Chun Jie, Spring Festival, beloved of Zebedee), in which strict ladies sit in rubber dinghies and are applauded. It’s also connected with a poet Qu Yuan who was banished for opposing an alliance with the Kingdom of Qin during the Zhou Dynasty. When the Qin (pronounced as in ‘double chin’) state invaded, he committed suicide in the MiLuo river, in JiangXi province in the southeast of China.  Despite having written large quantities of poetry he was admired by many people. Legend has it that people rushed to the water to throw in ZongZi, a triangular glob of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. They often have a bit of meat in the middle and are very tasty indeed, and make great snack food. People threw the zongzi into the river to prevent the fish from eating Qu Yuan’s body.  The festival is marked by eating plenty of zongzi, and by dragon boat races.  The day is also known as the double fifth, because it falls on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month.
This year, instead of 3 weeklong holidays, the government has split the hols into more manageable batches, creating bank holidays. It’s better for our factory and better for travel in general, as railway stations and airports got clogged up. The scenes from the recent winter storms showed the kinds of crowds that are generated when a gazillion people all want to take the same train.