Editor’s note: I will be traveling in Malaysia for the next week–backpack-style–and won’t be able to update the ol’ blog. Don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of stories when we get back on Nov. 22. The following post is about last Saturday, but I will go back and fill in the week before it because there was some pretty good stuff. See you in a week!
From a brief Googling, I have determined that it is illegal for individuals to set off fireworks in Taipei. That doesn’t dissuade our neighbors however, oh no; probably five nights out of the seven, we hear fireworks sporadically until the wee hours of the morning. At first it was neat: I like fireworks; Colin likes fireworks.
Then we caught on that these shows are, well, pretty amateur. Bam! Bam! (or whatever the correct onomatopoeia is for fireworks) and then silence. Ten minutes later a few more go off, but just enough to get our butts off the couch before they stop again. They’re never particularly spectacular fireworks, either.
We’ve seen city fireworks too, exploding low in the sky to a sappy song on repeat at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. All that said, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Taipei Fireworks Festival last Saturday. Nevertheless, we rallied a crowd of about ten, including five students from mainland China here on exchange.
When the shuttle bus finally dropped us off at the riverside park we’d be watching from, I was more disheartened than encouraged by the crowds. Another friend heard there were 50,000 people in attendance. But instead of thinking this many people have never been wrong before, the feeling of the whole group was there is no way these fireworks can be worth this crowd.
We were so wrong. Click below for highlights from the best fireworks show you never saw.
We had settled on a tennis court only partially full so our whole group could sit together, but I think it was lucky. The fireworks burst right on top of us; I found myself involuntarily stepping back and flinching with each rattling boom. They were hands-down the most elegantly choreographed fireworks I have ever seen, and the thirty minutes of explosions were wholly engaging. Our whole group, the whole crowd probably, was entranced.
We capped the night with a frozen yogurt with Pascal and Andy. It was probably the best Saturday night I’ve spent here.