It’s Sunday, 10:00am, 3 degrees with a persistent, grey drizzle splattering the winter-weary ground. Dude, let’s go to Leicester Square and watch a parade!
The Chinese New Year parade is bound to be amazing, right? This is freaking LONDON, and they have their own China Town, so I’m expecting Incredible Sights here.
Ha! Look, a snake! It’s the Year of the Snake, that’s awesome.
What’s this? A bus with some nicely-dressed people in it. Hm. Ok.
Oh, cool, martial artists! No, wait. Those are fencers.
This is making less sense as the parade progresses.
I’m pretty sure none of this is Chinese related.
Dude, Morris dancers? Are you kidding me, London?
We try for the ‘fireworks’ at Trafalgar Square. Dodging umbrella jabs to the eye, weaving through the hoards of people, we’re rewarded with a couple minor spurts of fireworks and some British announcers making lame jokes about speaking Mandarin. Some stuff probably happened on stage. But at 5’2″, I can’t see any of it.
We go for Dim Sum at the New World. A dragon appears outside the door as we go to leave, accompanied by drummers wearing tee-shirts that read ‘Shaolin Fist’. This is all second-hand knowledge. All I see are backs and bums.
“What’s happening out there?”
“The dragon is throwing cabbage at the people.” A tall man informs me.
“Why would the dragon do that?”
“It’s lucky. Cabbage is for luck.” Tall Man shrugs.
Once, in Camberwell, someone threw a lemon at me. It missed, fortunately. “I don’t think I’d like to be pelted with cabbage. That doesn’t sound lucky to me.”
Tall Man makes a non-committal noise.
The dragon moves on, we jostle through the crowd, under the red paper lanterns, brolly-fighting as we go. We pass a store with cabbage hanging from the doorway.
Tall Man spoke true, I think.
I keep my eye out for dragons.