- I have my visa. It says it’s valid for “000” days after my arrival in China. I will worry about this when I get there.
- I am not packed, and I appear to be quite a bit over my weight allowance. I may worry about this only after I get to the airport; alternatively, I may have a panic attack tomorrow and just throw piles of clothing away on the basis that it will be cheaper to just buy new stuff once I arrive in Beijing. Actually, that’s probably true.
- If my flight goes according to schedule (and I’m flying Garuda International [long story], so crashing and burning instead is a statistical possibility, if not likelihood), I will arrive in Beijing at approximately 8am. I have a staff meeting scheduled at 10am. The drive from the airport to Wudaokou takes approximately one hour.
- Today was the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. I had intended to get a lot of packing and apartment cleaning done today, but I wound up following Chin Woo’s lion dancers around instead. I shot a lot of video, but the drumming was so loud in the enclosed mall spaces where they were performing that it completely overwhelmed the microphone on my camera, which recorded only static. A friend kindly gave me cotton wool to stuff in my ears; they still hurt, but without that cotton wool I think I might be deaf by now. Those drums are LOUD! Master Zhou turns out to be a lion dancer as well. They all switch around between playing the lion, beating the drums and cymbals, and so on. Some of the video is ok, even if the sound is fubar’d; I also got some good still shots. We ended up watching some other troupes perform in or around Keong Saik Road; one had a lion that did its dance while it clambered up a pole. The other had two lions, followed up with a (very good) dragon dance, and finished up with a flag dance – this being the kind of flag that’s about the size of a dinghy’s sail, and attached to a pole that the dancers balance on their chin, etc.
- One of the Chin Woo lion dancers is the spirit medium I’ve previously mentioned. He had invited me to go to the temple with him over the festival period, to watch the spirit possessions, but I just didn’t have time. That’s a real pity; I know I will look back and regret it 😦 Anyway,he mentioned that the General tried to possess him during on of the dances, but he managed to resist. (Don’t visualise the General as a warrior in armour; it turns out to be only a rank; I was told some more about his appearance, but I don’t feel I should repeat it – sorry!).
This, I guess, will be my last post on this blog for a while; I don’t know how long it will be before ‘I’m online in Beijing, and it will probably be a much longer time before I start doing martial arts stuff again… it’s COLD there these days, won’t be going outdoors to practice much! Still, keep an eye on this place, I’ll be back as soon as I can!