Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sad songs on palm trees

Tonight is my last night on the island, but I'm ready to get back to Beijing. My job with the Events Company is now to start immediately (thank goodness, because I've got to make up for the lunch I had yesterday in the beautiful Yalong Bay at the Sheraton...but Oh Man, was it worth it. crazy good Lobster bisque (for which i am a sucker) and the most incredible open-faced ravioli with cajun shrimp and grilled I'm on my 6th book now (i love vacations) and only just today managed to get burned. drat, i thought i was doing so well. curse of the single girl...can't reach my back.

It's a unique experience to be in complete solitude while surrounded by hundreds of people (i guess that's China most of the time though). There are a few Westerners here, but most are Russian. It seems that Russians are to Sanya what the Japanese are to Hawai'i. The horrible, blasting, Russian music and bad Chinese karaoke, though...i could do without. the water was so clear today and the sky breathtaking. two butterflies even flew over me while i was in the water too!

I ended up at a tiny little thatch bar near a rocky inlet (pictures to follow) and though last time is was sad, classical piano music, this time was even more depressing. I mean, who would play that damn Celine dion Titanic song, then "i believe i can fly", then "i just called to say I love you", THEN "Take my breath away"? and there was some other song about someone being the best part of someone else's life. seriously. if he's the best part of her, and he's gone, she better snap out of it and stop singing a sad-bastard song about it. :) but then, i guess it's all designed to make people so depressed that they'll drink more. ah. sneaky. the best part was when they started playing the theme song to "Lord of the Rings", but then they shut if off for some other sad-bastard '70s song with a damn Synthesizer. sigh.

The summer is about to go into high-gear for me, and I'll do my best to report in, but I'll be working pretty much 12 hour days for the whole month of August.

*make sure to watch the opening ceremonies- it's a secret, but somehow I ended up helping one of the girls, who will be singing one of the songs, with her English and ended up re-writing most of the lyrics for the English version of the song. can't say the name, but if you spoke Spanish it would be called Cielo (you know, blue, with clouds...) :)

Love and kisses, and now back to the grueling evening ahead...finishing my book and walking on the beach. whew. :) xoxoxo

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

News from the South China Sea!!!

after a long and bumpy ride from an airport that no one had heard of (it actually used to be an old military base a 40 kuai taxi ride from the Southern most subway stop), i finally made it to Sanya, on the island of Hainan, in the South China Sea . the moon is almost full and the water is blessedly cool, at 11:30 pm. i love watching the moon's reflection in the sand and then the water recedes, wiping the brightness away like a cosmic etch-a-sketch. to my left was offensively loud Russian music and to my right was a ridiculously bright and far-reaching laser show from a hotel at the end of the beach. good grief. Yet the little space of beach i occupied tonight was just brilliant. i could feel my heart actually opening up under the smiling moon and crashing waves. so the big sense of the word. :)

The room at the hostel is a slightly obnoxious version of the summer camp i never went to. so far, the best i can say for it is it has air-con. oooh, and I saw two white geckos. i love those little creatures (and not just because they eat mosquitos)!

so, i'm off to start my vacation in earnest and even though the heat is oppressive, i'm so excited to have fresh air and clean water!!!! whooo hooooo!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Starbucks Retrospective

I find myself at the Starbucks near the Hospital, using the computer as I did 4 months ago- but how different I am now. I don't pretend to be an accepted member of the community, but I am constantly assailed with a certain awareness of how this is my home right now. it's not always easy, but I can get around my town by bus, subway and taxi and even bike. I've actually run into people I know on the street (which always blows my mind in a city this size). Going to the Great Wall this past Sunday was just completely profound! It was incredible to imagine being marooned out there at one of those guard posts (we had to climb a rusty ladder to climb over a short section of the wall), and then imagine having to build the crazy thing. just incredible. (i felt like an accomplished mountain goat by the time I got from one guard tower to another- man, was it steep...and no steps on part of it. augh)

WOW- just this second I got an amazing phone call. The guy I worked with, who directed OLIVER here, recommended me for a pretty freakin' cool gig and it just got confirmed!!!!! whooo hooooo! I'm helping with English/vocal coaching for people singing at the closing ceremony of the Olympics! holy Cow!!!! I don't know any details, and it's all confidential anyway...but I'll let you know at the end of August how it was!!! :) he he.

I met two great people last night, after a really incredible yoga class and hanging out with my beautiful friend Jessica and her roommate Dalida. I've come to a new place in my Beijing existence...playing with grown-ups. :) I have had a wonderful time rockin' and rollin' and staying out dancing...but I realized that I was pretty much continuing some old patterns that weren't maybe that healthy for me (inside or out). The woman i met last night works for the World Food Program at the UN and the guy is a Brand Manager for Volvo. Her apartment was ridiculously cool and the wine was brilliant, not to mention the art and sculptures she'd gotten from the many countries she's worked in. But it wasn't just the stylish trappings that I enjoyed. We talked about so many inspiring subjects and some silly, yet all the while i was just happy to be a sentient being, as opposed to the getting wasted/high school drama/sex swapping crowd I floated through before (*i wasn't in on the sex-swapping Mom, and i'm not even lying) :) Beijing produces (or attracts) an interesting specimen of the Western Male. No matter what he was like back home, here he is a rock star with beautiful/skinny/long-haired/

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Life is Good

at the moment, i'm at the East Shore Jazz club, overlooking Hou Hai lake. My friend Jessica is rehearsing for her show tonight. I'm using the bar's computer, because it's touch and go these days for mine. definitely got a 1984 situation here. Yesterday was most amazing. After a lunch party at my house (and finally seeing Chaoyang park from the 14th floor of my building) we went to JingShang Park, which overlooks the Forbidden City. It was most profound, as is always when i see any congregation of greenery and birdlife. The part of the park we started in was built for archery practive in the Ming, or Qin Dynasty (i forgot, and i sincerely hope there are no Chinese History scholars reading this, because i am being abyssmally lazy and not looking it up. but if i stop this blog post now, it may be weks before I get the time and connection to do it again:) lame excuse, but was a really long time ago. That made me think of my Mom, she did archery in college. so cool.

So, we walked to the topmost pagoda and had a breathtaing view of the entire city. And we could even see mountains!!! so, it was moderately clear...yay!!!! Then we ambled through some hutongs and ended up at a Starbucks. gotta love that, running the whole gamut.

I left the group and found my way to the National Centre for Performing Arts where I was to see a play called "CiXi and DeLing". My friend Lisa Lu (one of the Mom's from the Joy Luck Club, who I met at the Hawai'i Film Fest) was playing the Dowager Empress and everyone in the theatre burst into applause the first time she came on stage. What a fascinating experience that was. and WHOA what a Theatre Complex. wow. It was the story of the end of the Qing Dynasty, after the Boxer Rebellion and the big issue was Western customs and reform. how strange to be one of only two Westerners in the whole audience of more than 400. And there were times during the play, when one of the characters would make an especially emotional statement, and the whole audience would applaud. so fascinating. Everyone did such an incredible job and I hadn't realized just how talented my friend really is! So, I walked all across Tian'anmen Square and over to Wanfujing, up as far as Chaoyangmen Nei. I know that doesn't mean anything to you at home, but trust was a VERY long walk, in the rain. The funny part was though, i thoroughly enjoyed it!!!! I am so lucky to be here, right where I am, just who I am, right now, at this very moment. Life is good.