23.12.2011 - 02.01.2012
Wuhan, December 30th 2011
So why did I come to Wuhan? Because of something rarely listed on any tourist article about Wuhan. That's the famous Wuhan acrobat show. Since ever I started to watch circus and acrobat shows performed by Chinese players in my country, I had noticed that they were Wuhan players. It was written on the banners. I was surprise to find very little if not none, information about Wuhan acrobat on the tourist section. Even my second bible, Insight Guides, mentioned nothing about it. The famous Wuhan acrobat turned out to be infamous -- to tourists.
Through thorough search on the internet I found the address of the acrobat hall in Wuhan. Then I searched for an accommodation close to it. That was "Sentosa Hotel and Apartment". I asked the tourist information office in Sentosa Hotel about the acrobat show, but she knew nothing. I went to the front desk. Two ladies nodded hard. Ah, at last, someone knows about what I'm looking for. But... they couldn't explain to me in English how to get there. The only thing they could say to me in English was: "Just take a taxi." Neither did they have any information about the show's schedule.
Having been on and off public buses in Chengdu, I became accustomed to that. If there's something cheaper, why not?
I tried to explain that probably the show would be held in the evening. But I want to check out now, so I won't be late for the show. If I have to take a taxi now, return from there by taxi, and go back and forth in the evening by taxi also, it might cause me more than the ticket itself. Obviously, this was too complicated for them to grasp. Once again I heard: "Take a taxi." Exactly like when I called them to give me directions from the train station to their hotel. It looks like "Take a taxi." is their default answer to any question concerning directions. Ah.
Suddenly a tall lady stood behind me. My teacher was right when he said that Sichuan people are small. Yeah, compared to the people in Chengdu, people here are tall. Just like my taxi driver yesterday. Since I myself am small, I didn't notice the smallness of the people in Chengdu. That's like a blind among the blind.
This tall big lady said, "Can I help you?" -- in English of course. Ah, this is like a deja vu in Jiuzhaigou. She then explained to me that the acrobat hall is close. That's the more reason I don't need to take a taxi, I replied. I just want to know which bus I should take, where to get on, and where to get off.
I got precise direction for the bus. So of I went. The bus fare was 2 yuan flat and the system was exactly like in Chengdu except that here they have double-deckers. Joyfully, excitedly, I made a shot of the street. The alleyway, actually.
The acrobat hall turned out to be so close that I got off the bus one stop ahead. You can't imagine how thrilled I was standing in front of this building. Now, where's the show schedule? Where's the ticket office? I strolled through the vast parking lot.
At last I found a sign that says "Ticket Office" but the door was close. I saw people inside though. Ah, maybe the entrance is from another side, I thought. I turned round the area, but found nothing. I returned to this office and wrote a dialogue in my mind. I was going to knock on the door. So prepared what I was going to say when they open the door, and then what they would probably say or react, and how I would reassure them that I was desperate for the show, and so on, and so on.
Suddenly I heard a man's voice behind me. I can't repeat his sentence, but I understood he was asking me: "What are you looking for?"
"Wǒ xiǎng kàn zhège," I told him, and then showed him the word 杂技 on my piece of paper.
"Ah..." he nodded excitedly and chattered in long complicated difficult Mandarin. The only thing I could get was "míngtiān" which I heard him mentioned a couple of times.
"Jīntiān méiyǒu?" I tried to make sure.
"Méiyǒu, méiyǒu." And then another complicated difficult Mandarin went on air.
He pointed behind me and I understood that I could buy the ticket over there.
Yes... right in front of this banner stood a young man selling tickets for tomorrow's show. The show will be held tomorrow and tomorrow morning is my flight to Chengdu. Ah... Tài bù hǎole！！