Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mooncakes & Mulberry Trees

Last week I told you about my frustrations at getting a visa for Indian in a UK passport whilst in China. You can read about it here.
Update on this situation.. I went to the regular Indian visa place with all the Chinese folk wanting visa's to discover that the consulate had scribbled in GP style scrawl on my application that I could have only a 3 month 1 entry visa even though I was (again) paying top whack for a full year business visa. Why? I have no idea.. have I done something to upset them? Feeling dispirited about India and in particular petty puffed up arrogant power mad bureaucratic suits that clearly have no love for their own country.

Sorry to rant.. after all I'm writing this on calm and forgiving Moon Day in China. I have to admit I had never heard of the Mid-Autumn / Zhongqiu Festival.. or as I prefer to call it.. the Mooncake Day.
For the past week all over Shanghai I have witnessed huge queues of folk waiting in line to order or pre-order Mooncakes from particularly auspicious bakeries. I think if you put all the Mooncake queues in China end to end they would probably stretch to the moon. That's just conjecture but a jolly poetic one don't you think?
Alternatively you can go to a department store and pay any amount of money for a richly packaged rich tasting cake. I have seen cakes on sale for a $1000. 
Actually Moon Day is celebrated all over Asia each country in it's own way. I'm typing this to the sound of fireworks and crackers.. I'd like to tell you about the associated legends that surround Moon Day.. but they are just too complicated.. something to do with immortal/mortal Princesses, Jade rabbits and fairies. The story starts.. "At that time, there were ten suns, in the form of three-legged birds, residing in a mulberry tree.." enough already.
mooncakes.jpg  Mooncake.. Eggs inside and sticky gooey lotus seeds.. comfort food for Asians.

It reminds me a little of our Harvest celebrations.. which reminds me soon it will be Halloween and then Bonfire night then pretty much Christmas.
Gosh it's that time of year. Sadly it's raining in Shanghai.. so the years biggest and brightest moon will most likely be hidden, ho well.. I'll just console my self with some cake.