By JONAS WHALE
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – A foreigner who came to China to study its 5,000-year culture has admitted he “completely forgot” about this week’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 usually do to mark the holiday.
Conroy told China Daily Show that he has been “immersed in Chinese culture” for nearly six months but that had still not prepared him for the summer festival.
“I completely missed it,” Conroy admitted, his eyeballs red with apparent emotion. “All the festivities. The tradition stuff. All that shit… totally missed it.”
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.
“The next thing I knew, he just turned up at my dorm 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.
“I think he woke up around two that day, looked at his watch and bolted out the door. He left his DVDs behind, though, so I kinda ended up watching them.”
In the ensuing Wire-athon, Conroy admitted neglecting both his studies and his girlfriend but says “all that’s under control” now.
“The one thing I can’t forgive myself for 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 Korea.
Later, 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 – adding his own “special ingredient.”
“I’m gonna bake this for my Chinese in-laws next year,” a bleary-eyed Conroy vowed for the third time that day. “It will most likely blow their minds.”
Conroy then paused to recall 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,” the US languages student enthused after a brief period of unconsciousness. “I’m trying to convince my Chinese family to race a home-made boat to Shenzhen next year.
“Man, I’m gonna love Duanwu Jie.”
As for The Wire, it’s unlikely the HBO show will come between Conroy and his beloved Chinese cultural heritage again.
“It’s OK but it’s pretty darn slow,” Conroy complained of the award-winning series. “I’ll probably just stick with watching quality stuff like True Blood. Or maybe that one about… no. I’ve forgotten.”