Some forward momentum

So there’s been some progress, as can be noted by my and our general absence from this blog.

First, my IFC (International Festival Chorus) Messiah concert has been postponed until the 19th of December. Apparently they’ve been having more and more problems getting government approval to perform Handel’s Messiah in a public venue, and it was going to be a GREAT venue (sorry, Chinese site only, but it does illustrate just how weird Chinese web URLs are:, it’s the first letter of the each Chinese character as written using English letters). So what they’re going to have to do now is perform it on the sly, at an independent location, specifically the International School of Beijing. Apparently it’s a big deal, the Messiah I mean, and subject to lots of government scrutiny before it’s allowed to be performed. Either way. This just means it pushes off my performances and rehearsals a bit.

Secondly, thanks to my connection with the IFC, I am also performing at the British Embassador’s Residence, singing Christmas carols. We’re also “performing”/”rehearsing” at the Bookworm, a coffee shop in Sanlitun, the bar area of Beijing, this coming Thursday for either “Beethoven Basics” or “Basic Beethoven” or something like that, for their classical music open mic night. Who knew such things existed huh? Sanlitun itself is weird, and not quite my cup of tea. There’s this huge “Village” complex they’re building, basically a tricked out shopping promenade, with massive numbers of massive stores. We’re talking three stories of Nike and the world’s largest Apple store; completely out of the locals price range, but trendy, I guess. Um, what was my point?

Right, thirdly, I’ve actually signed a contract with Connections. I am their full time manager now, for the next year, unless terminated in writing with 45 days notice. The restaurant is for most intents and purposes ready. We’re just missing staff and suppliers. There’s still a big part of me that’s unsure of whether or not I should really be continuing with this, but that’s all part of some much larger general concerns of mine regarding my relative success or actually lack there of since we’ve been in China and the almost irrational and unreasonable way that I am treated or considered by my parents and extended family that I will not get into here.

Fourthly, we saw 2012 in theaters. This is Maria’s first time, and only my second. So in China, apparently, the movies are expensive as hell by local standards (35 RMB/5 USD on a weeknight, 75 RMB/11 USD on a weekend), you pick out your seats before hand and they’re assigned, if there are any English subtitles in the original movie you can kiss those good bye (which actually means we’ll need to watch 2012 again since there were lots of time when people were speaking other languages that we have no idea what was going on because there’s only the Chinese subtitles), and before the credits even begin rolling, the lights come on, the movie is over, and the theater empties. No staying for the credits in this town.

Fifthly, and related to the “Fourthly,” we wandered around Wanfujing a good bit. It’s about 5 miles from our apartment, and we wanted a walk, and I hadn’t been there in a while and I remembered that there was a movie theater there, so we headed out. We passed what the internet is apparently calling the “night market” which is this long city block of nothing but street food, most prevalent of which were things on skewers, with an emphasis on the weird and gross, like still moving scorpions, starfish, sea urchins, bug “pods,” various internal organs, etc. The place has really gussied up since last I was there. A couple of new shopping malls have opened, all selling high end durable goods. What we’ve come to realize is that brands that in the stores one would find only in department stores, for some reason have their own massive stores. They definitely like their things big.

And lastly, construction at the apartment should be finishing up relatively soon, within the week actually. Which means that for once, and finally, we will have a place that is all our own, livable and clean. Thank god for small favors.

And as a side note, we’ll be revisiting some of these things and hopefully that means there’ll be pictures!


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