There’s a little green notebook that I’ve been using since we left to jot down directions, restaurant recommendations, email addresses, flight information, etc. It has 80 sheets, and I’ve almost filled it now.
Yesterday I was flipping back through the early pages to get a sense of where we’ve been, literally and figuratively. I came across an excerpt that I had copied out from an in-flight magazine article en route between Hong Kong and Bangalore. The airline was Dragonair, a Chinese carrier. The article was entitled “It’s a Blast!”
Leave your best outfits and high heels at home if you’re heading to the Beehive Festival fireworks in the sleepy southern Taiwan town of Yanshui, a short train journey from Kaohsuing. Instead, wrap yourself in loose, dispensable garments that cover all of your body — and wear a helmet with a full face visor. […]
Kevin Milligan, a teacher from Houston Texas sums up his experiences at the 2009 festival with his family in two words: “intense” and “scary”. He adds, “It’s a neat experience, especially if you’re younger. But do be prepared. Know beforehand what you’re getting into.”
Preparation is essential. Like angry bees, rockets scream in every direction, ricochet off houses on either side of the street. Bring gloves to protect your hands and avoid wearing nylons for obvious reasons. Strong footwear is essential as your toes might get trampled. Festival veterans wrap old towels around their necks to stop rockets from bouncing up into their helmets.
Milligan has this advice: Make sure you are well protected. “We got cornered,” he says. “Even though we were taking cover in an alcove and ducking, we got hit.”
Dragonair flies 32 times a week to Kaohsiung and four times a day to Taipei.