China day 7

Upon landing in Beijing, I could immediately tell I would like this town.  Very westernized, but still a nice Chinese flare.  The airport was MASSIVE (as it should be, having hosted the 2008 olympics and the 2010 World’s Fair), and getting into traffic reminded me of being on I-75 north combined with I-95 north at the same time.  Traffic was absolutely unbelievable!

Our hotel was towards the center of downtown, and we had about thirty minutes to walk around before the show call time.  We found a 7-11 with a lot of American style food with a different flare (I.e., “numb and spicy hot pot” flavor lays… Which I bought, clearly).  The river was frozen over and some of my friends decided to go ice skating on it, but I decided breaking my arm was probably not the best idea :)

The venue in Beijing was very nice, and huge.  The timpani were very weird, however.  A cross between dresden style and pedal style timpani… I guess who could call them hydraulic? On the lower pitches, the pedals were very high up, and i could not rest my feet on them because there was no locking mechanism to keep the pedals in place going down; only up. It was really confusing and made me have what I felt was a pretty bad show pitch wise.  It’s fun and challenging to get a different set of drums every night, but these were very difficult to get accustomed to.  However, the rest of the orchestra had a GREAT show, and nobody seemed to notice my issues, so all is well.  They even asked for a fourth encore!

We went to dinner where we were bombarded with dish after dish of amazing food.  The Chinese LOVE to load us up with food, it was impossible to eat it all. We were serenaded by Mr. Mao and a female friend of his who were both great singers, and the two singers came up from our tour and sang a number as well. Some people went out later, I decided to call it a night about 1am.  I hear I missed out on a great time, and I’m sad I can’t tell my cousins that I partied at some of the same places that they did, but I’m sure that there will be plenty of other opportunities for late night hanging on the duration of this trip.

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