Apologies for the lack of posts, but the last few days haven’t been the most blog worthy. Well, actually there are plenty of stories, just not so many good ones – but you’ve got to take the good with the bad I guess.
Since I last wrote we’ve been in Chongqing and Wuhan, two cities which are just cities – certainly no pandas on offer. Given the size of the cities over here, it’s hard to get a real idea of what’s on offer; we generally stay in hotels close to the venues, and with both of these places that meant there wasn’t a lot else in the vicinity.
Lowlights in Chongqing included a phone getting stolen (not mine, I’m pretty sure even in China everyone has a more advanced phone than my Nokia 6720) and a few of us falling prey to illness (again, not me). Our tour manager had to head back to Beijing for an exam the day we had to travel to Wuhan, leaving us to briefly fend for ourselves. Unfortunately we were staying in a particularly dodgy hotel, and didn’t have her to help us with room keys that stopped working at a random points in the day and a boiling hot room. Thank goodness for Google translate – “our air conditioner is broken, can we change rooms?” is something that should be included in all future Lonely Planet phrasebooks.
We had slightly more trouble trying to determine which movies were screening in English when we tried to fill in some time during the day. I thought a booth set up in the cinema foyer promoting an English school might help us out, but turns out the guy didn’t speak English (hmmm, doesn’t bode well for their students). Thankfully Iron Man was indeed in English (except the parts in Chinese; no idea what was going on in those scenes), so all good there. Once the movie ended I had to try miming to the cinema staff that we wanted to stay until the end for the typical Marvel post-credits scene – don’t think I really got the message across. We held our ground though, sadly with no payoff.
Despite a few lackluster days, the gigs we’ve played have completely made up for it. The venues have all been cool places, the crowds are really getting into it, and we’ve been playing really well. After Wuhan’s show we grabbed some chow mein from the street food markets outside the venue, and it was one of the best things I’ve eaten here. Perhaps the worst is over…