By JONAS WHALE
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – A foreigner who came to China to study the culture has admitted he “completely forgot” about last weekend’s Dragon Boat Festival.
American student Dwayne Conroy instead says he spent the last three days watching US television, instead of doing whatever it is the Chinese do to mark the holiday.
Conroy told China Daily Show that he has been “immersed in Chinese culture” for nearly six months but had still not been prepared for the annual summer festival.
“I completely missed it,” Conroy admitted, his eyes red with apparent emotion. “All the festivities. The traditions. All that shit… missed it all.”
Conroy blames his unusual lapse on the long-discontinued HBO series The Wire.
“I happened to mention to a buddy of mine from the States, Carl, that I had never seen the show,” Conroy recalled. “He seemed personally offended that I hadn’t.
“The next thing, I knew he just turned up at my dorm Thursday night with a DVD box set, a carton of Cheerios and a bag of the good stuff. Then he said he wouldn’t leave until we’d watched at least two seasons.”
In the event, Carl stayed until Saturday, then fell asleep.
“Carl woke up at two that day, looked at his watch and bolted out the door. He left the DVDs behind, though, so I kinda ended up watching them.”
In the ensuing Wire-athon, Conroy admitted neglected both his studies and his girlfriend but says “all that’s under control” now.
“The one thing I can’t forgive myself for, though, is missing this ancient festival, which dates all the way back to 2008,” Conroy continued, looking sorrowfully out of a nearby window. “Man, I am such a doofus.”
Conroy admits his lapse of memory was particularly insensitive at the time, as the festival has only recently been retrieved by China after being stolen by the Koreans.
Conroy did at least make up for some of his remissions by preparing his own form of zongzi, the special glutinous rice dumplings usually enjoyed on Dragon Boat Festival, while adding his own “special ingredient.”
“I’m gonna bake it for my Chinese in-laws next year,” a bleary-eyed Conroy vowed for the third time. “It will most likely blow their minds.”
Conroy then paused to ask what he was talking about, before resuming his thread.
“I will totally get involved in next year’s festivities, whatever the hell they may be,” Conro enthused after a brief period of unconsciousness. “I’m trying to convince my Chinese family right now to race a home-made boat to Shenzhen.
“Man, I’m gonna love Duanwu Jie.”
As for The Wire, it’s unlikely the show will come between Conroy and his beloved cultural heritage again.
“It’s OK but it’s pretty darn slow,” Conroy complained. “I’ll probably just stick with watching quality stuff in future, like True Blood. Or maybe… no, I’ve forgotten.”
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