Year of the Rooster
The Vietnamese prisoners prepared a feast on the yard to welcome the new year. They invited me as always.
When the yard opened at 12:30 in the afternoon, the guys brought out the dishies that they had been cooking all night and morning. There were ten different dishes of steamed eggs, summer sausages, oysters, clams, fish, vegetables, soup, and pickled bean sprouts with yellow pepper. Most of the food came from cans. The guys were very creative in making the food presentable and edible since they don't have woks or microwaves to cook the food. It's all about using water steamers and small hot pots.
There were about 25 people present. After the traditional greetings, everyone dug in. There were sodas and candies.
When the meal was over, it was time for some blackjack. Everyone was given a box of 6 honeybuns as a new year present. The guys got together and started gambling. The bank won big time. After 30 minutes, the winner tossed all the honeybuns in the air and yelled happy new year. Everyone shared dessert.
As I sat among all the guys, I secretly wished that this would be my last lunar new year in prison. The next one I was to celebrate with my family and friends.
The most memorable of today's feast was the sound of laughter. Despite the fact that we're imprisoned and separated from our loved ones, for a few hours everyone was happy.