I’m writing this ten days after the 4th July, and half the world away. I’m typing on my phone, in the noisy and crowded corridor of a Chinese train, at a weird angle so I can keep the phone charger in the socket, so forgive any typos.
The 4th was our last day in the States, and as we headed to the airport for our late night flight to Hong Kong, we could see the fireworks lighting up the sky.
Earlier in the day, in between retrieving our stuff which had gradually infiltrated the household, packing, cleaning and watering the plants, we made time to walk down to the Alameda 4th July parade.
It was a pretty relaxed affair, with whole families bringing their kids and dogs and setting up their deckchairs by the side of the road.
Floats were mainly representing local businesses and sports clubs and ranged from highly decorated trucks with choreographed routines, to cars with a hand written poster stuck on the side.
The military had a couple of trucks, there were all sorts of cultural floats (my favourite was “Sikhs on Bikes” a group of turbanned guys on massive motorbikes) but the most applause was when the mexican bands came past, playing lively music and flanked by gauchos on horses, long horned cows and even a donkey. There qas one old guy in a motorized wheelchair decked out in flags and ribbons. There were women in fairy outfits urging people to register to vote and handing out pocket sized copies of the constitution. In the lulls between floats we read parts out and discussed it in relation to current events. One might hope the orange one would follow suit.
Lauren got some free popcorn, a couple lent us one of their spare camping benches, and we watched as floats rumbled by, along with some more energetic types who had done the route on foot.
Some pics below..