I experienced China.
23.12.2012 - 07.01.2013
Beijing, December 29th 2012
And, the show had to end. I can't think of anything better to finalize my trip in Beijing than this acrobat show
The theater was packed up. I almost lost the seat reserved in advance. Then I was ushered to the row a bit at the back but in the middle. The agent assured me that my current seat was actually more expensive than the ticket I had purchased. She wanted to show me the seat map and price. Well, after the acrobatic frustration I had gone through, I thought I should be grateful with what I got. Maybe she's telling the truth that actually I had gotten a better seat. As a matter of fact, from my seat, I could take all the pictures and video I could wish. What we had seen in previous post was actually not yet all of them.
I was already told to arrive 30 minutes prior to show time. However, I didn't anticipate the rush hour. While I was on the bus, I got a call asking where I was. The thoughtfulness of these people from Chaoyang Theatre impressed me. I only reserved my seat -- just one seat -- through the phone. Nevertheless, they cared enough to call, and then wait for me in front of the theater. Apparently I arrived too late that the other member of the committee gave my seat to other guest. Therefore, if one day you wish to enjoy this kind of acrobat show, you can book by phone like I did, but be sure to arrive the latest 30 minutes before show time. You can find the English hotline number on their website.
Oh yeah, as I had mentioned before, I took a bus instead of taxi, from the subway station to the theater. Buses were terribly crowded at that peak time. When I gave up on the bus and searched for a taxi, the taxis were occupied the same. You know in China, a taxi can take other passenger along the way provided they are heading to the same direction. Nah, in spite of that, none of the taxis passing by slowed down. Let alone stopping. Moreover, I wasn't the only person hailing for a taxi. Thus, even you don't mind spending money on a taxi, bear in mind the rush-hour factor.
At last I went back to the bus stop and queued from the start. The bus mentioned on Maps Google was listed at the bus stop, but it never appeared... again. It did before. But, it was over-occupied that even the petite me couldn't step onto it. Thanks to my still-so-and-so knowledge of hànzì, I figured out another bus going the same direction. Yeehaa! This is another reason why I, sorry to say, despise Mandarin courses that focus too much on pīnyīn or even neglect training hànzì for fear of loosing students. I've heard, "Don't worry (not to learn hànzì). They (the Chinese) understand." Yeap! Don't worry, if your goal is just to be a tourist tagging along a tour guide to wherever. If you don't have the desire to experience China, indeed, you don't need hànzì. Let's face it! Alphabet is not their thing! And, I tell you again, I'm in Beijing. The capital city.
I assume 70% of the audience were foreigners. Groups of tour filled the lobby. As much to be expected, I recognized a travel agency from my home country. As I sat on the sofa drinking hot water from my thermos, I watched one wearing on 'just' a sweater. Is he wearing layers of vest underneath? Is he feeling warm? Another pants left some skin above the ankle. Is she really that strong? For others, that part of the body is one of the best cold-receivers, which explain boots and long socks. Where did she think she was traveling to? Didn't the travel agency provide information? Aren't they paid for that, also?
The usual Chaoyang Theater was under renovation. Thus the show was moved to this theater. The parking lot and the pedestrian road in front was packed with tourist buses.
I had already learned the lesson that the bus stop for the bus to the opposite direction is sometimes not across the street, but somewhere apart. It happened again here.
At a supermarket near Dongsi Subway Station, I bought some more of this Nescafe which I've never found in any other country besides China. I've said it before. I can't stop wondering how come Nescafe produces the best variety in a non-drinking-coffee country? The Smoovlatte is most excellent. I danced on my feet when I saw this Nescafe in Seven Eleven on my first day in Beijing. But luckily I didn't go crazy sweeping the shelf, because the price in this supermarket was lower. Maybe Seven Eleven bought their stock here. Aha.
My last dinner in Beijing, but my first Chinese bento 弁当.
Good night, Beijing.