Anyone who has talked to me lately will not be in any doubt that summer is here. The sun rises about 4.30 a.m. The cicadas are unbearably noisy from shortly after that until mid-morning, when they thankfully finally stop their “singing” routine and, like the rest of us, try to just sit out the 36 degree or so days and high humidity. The nights are almost as hot and clammy, and in fact we had a few weeks where the temperature rarely dipped below 30 even overnight.
Summer has brought lots of fun activities to though not least a seemingly non-stop run of summer festivals. These vary in scale and pedigree, but they all have a lot in common – people out to have a good time and summer festival foods like kakigori (shaved ice with sweet colourful syrup toppings), yakisoba (fried noodles), hot dogs, fairy floss, popcorn, and other nutritionally dubious treats. Many people, especially women and children, dress up in traditional outfits, which for me is one of the more enjoyable aspects of these events and gives them a real sense of place.
On the way home from the gym recently, I noticed a small festival being set up in a park near home, that we hadn’t heard about. We decide to check it out and ended up staying quite a while and having fun with the various kids games (catching water-bomb balloons with a tiny hook; lucky dips; etc) and navigating the decidedly dicey culinary waters.