So today we had a brilliant day
We all were very slow this morning after our party last night. Had to get cards made to get into someones room to get them awake. but we left almost on time. Last night left a couple of people doing stupid things, and very emo.
So we started off by going to Tienanmen square, Which is where many Chinese in protest died many years ago. This was pretty non descript to to be honest. After that we went to the forbidden city. Beautiful old palace. It is very repetitive sadly. After that we went to perform at a beautiful old restaurant which was where genhis kahns palace was overlooking a lake. Since we played there they have us a great discount on our lunch which was delicious in the most beautiful venue. We even had an old man sing a song to us that we played for them.
We then headed to a small food street, and tried some strange local delicacies. As today was a public holiday then place was packed with asians. WOW
So thats was me eating a scorpion. Uhm. Eish. Strange taste. Reminded me of macdonald chips. hahaha. I also had a lovely sugar coated strawberrys on a stick thing.
Anyhow, I better start packing now. Im off to Guang Zhou tomorrow and Im seeing Charty. Very excited to see my friend. Havent seen her since she came to china. We are getting there via a train which averages 350km/h. So not sure if we will see much in the line of scenery.
So today we pretty much spent driving to Guangzhou on a bullet train averaging about 310km/h. This was fairly uneventful. We arrived at the hotel safely. Room is a tad small for wes and I, as we have no cupboards, so Im typing from ontop of my clothes which is on the desk in the room. We had a delicious dinner served with some stellenbosch wines.
So today we started with a concert at a minority school. This turned out to be our best supported one thus far. There must have been about 1500 people in the venue. They incorporated us into their english festival. Which was the school kids reading out various simple english stories in unison, some strange english songs, and then some other things like hip hop. They seemed to love our band music. This was followed by a “communication session” which was the their wind orchestra playing for ours. They have many strange instruments, which seem to be family of the oboe. Their music script is very different from ours, but they seem to be able to read ours too.
Lunch consisted of another little chinese gem. I had Beef Dimsum, Vasti had Prawn Dimsum, and Chloe had some Vegie stir fry. But we decided to try some desserts too, which was a strange sweet bean soup with sweet rice balls, Sago in Coconut milk, and the Sugar milk puding, which resembled a creme caremel. This was by far the most tasty. I really enjoy having people who are willing to try new things with me. I pity those who are getting things like Macdonalds etc.
After this we headed to the summer palace. Which is a beautiful Garden palace which is next to a man made lake. It was huuuge.And next to the man made lake was a man made mountain (all the escavations from the lake). What tickled me most there was a sugar artist. They took some molten sugar, and had me blow into it while he made it into an animal (a snake, the animal of my zodiac year). Two chaperones and two kids stayed to watch this, and we almost lost the group after that. They travel suprisingly fast.
Then we headed over to a silk factory. Was hoping to get some raw silk, but it was more expencive there than it was in Durban. So we gave that a skip. however I bought myself a silk duvet. Its amazingly soft and apparently cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
That was followed by dinner. This was at a local restaurant, where we consumed various forms of Dimsum, dumplings etc. Its always nice to see that the table we are at the kids usually eat or atleast try most of the things, as many of the other kids seem to not enjoy the chinese foods.
So now Di and I will be tasting some of the local drinks we bought. We are afraid as we have no idea what it is. which will be followed by our new years party. So happy new year all!
So today we headed off early to to the great wall. And its truly magnificent piece odrinking awwuction was beautiful to the eye, yet not so much to the legs. It was a climb of about 100m with uneaven steps. However, once we reached the top the view was magnificent and worth the hour and a bit hike up. I didnt realise in the morning, but the pants I had on was a bit too tight and limited my upwards leg movement. When we hit the bottom it was brilliant to have a nice cuppa and an icecream (I was labled crazy as usual) We had some drama with people going up as the air became rather thin as we got closer to the top and being only a couple of degrees above zero and at the top below zero, It was tiring.
After that we popped to one of the state carving factories where they carve various rocks and minerals into very intricate shapes.
We then headed to the Silk market, which unlike its name suggests, is not a silk market. I think they made a typo and it is supposed to be called the shit market. This was a 7 story high building with various little shops less than 10m2. Everything from fake clothes, to fake watches. However, Di, myself and my little entorage decided to go and try a little bit of a special lunch. Our tour guide suggested it. She called it a hotpot, but it is basically a glorified fondue. But instead of oil, everything is cooked in a kind of broth that is kept boiling on your own little hot plate. It made for great fun, other than when I ended up with some thai broth in my eye. IT BURNS. hahaha.
We then did some shopping, I mostly stuck to the other afrikaans band member on tour, and we scored some,and then lost at some other places.But alas, we learn.
Then came the acrobatics show. It was a 20 piece marvel. They are really well trained young acrobats, all under the age of 21. Everything from Jugglers, to rope walkers, chinese yoyos and many more. I unfortuantely due to the lack of sleep and busy day fell asleep in the first half, but Anna assured me it was amazing.
We finally came home and this is the first night im in bed before 10. And we are going to need it because breakfast is at six am, for another full day
Our one patient got better yesterday, but the next one is down and out now. Let’s hope she is better tomorrow
Anyhow, I might not post tomorrow as its new years, and I will either be sleeping or drinking. Haha
So traveling to china was fairly uneventful. Couple of minor mishaps with people, but all our baggage arrived safely so I was fairly happy. Had about a bottle of wine in the international departure lounge (when I finally got there). Flight was long. 15 hours long. but I survived it but not particularly enthused by the higene
We arrived in the evening and booked into our hotel with no problem. Was clean, but its a fairly small room for two guys to share who suck at handling luggage. hahaha
So this morning we went to the Hu tong (old city) of beijing, had a a rikshaw ride, had beautiful steamed dumplings with egg and chives, and then we went to my favorite part of the day. A tea tasting. They ran through 5 traditional teas with us. I fell in love with three of them so I ended up buying them. I think Im going to go home with lots of teas. I spent about R2000 on them (anna bought two teas). They showed us the traditional brewering methods. Bliss. I bough some china (No pun intended) there too. Looking forward to using it there. I got Ginseng tea, Litchi tea, Rose tea and a very sweet fruit tea. The Ginseng tea had a annisead taste to it which tickled my quite a bit. I was happy
As I am a shaperone I had to look after one of our girls who seems to have gotten a stomach bug, and thus she didnt go to the super market and I waited with her. It was no problem as it gave me someone to speak afrikaans too, which i long to do. She is in bed right now and slowly taking down rehidrate. I hope that she will be able to keep some food down, as we are going to to the great wall tomorrow and It would be sad for her not to enjoy it.
We then had a concert at an age home where the chinese loved what we did. One gentleman said that he always wanted to hear a concert live and we made his heart beat faster by playing music for him. That is why we perform. for people like him. The Chinese exchanged with some traditional dances.
Dinner was amazing. We had dinner at a local restaurant where all the adults sat down together. It was a sharing dinner as the chinese did traditionally do. It was wonderfull to taste what they actually eat. The most fascinating must have been the sweet potato that was in a caramalised sugar syrup. Which you then dipped into water so that it wasnt sticky. I really think that can become special in other places.
We made a detour via the convinience store and ended up getting some beers and have an informal party in the hotel lounge. Was nice socializing with the other older people. After that DI and I had to sort out the train tickets to our next destination on the second. This might not have been the best idea to do while a bit tipsy and very tired at 11pm.
So thats me for today. Im currently exposing wesley to the who. Im amazed he has never noticed them before.
So Today we spent the day in the town we are staying. We had some rehearsals and a lovely concert in the Market platz
There is a little teashop in this town. Which has the most amazing teas. I was like a kid in a candy store. And it smelled like one too. There were Ice teas, green teas, Fruit teas. Bliss. I think I bought a bit much perhaps but ill be happy back in Durban. The Shop lady was awesome enough to give all the musos free ice tea too! I spent about 40 minutes in there chatting to the lady. Best of all is she will ship teas to my house in South Africa. Im really excited for getting back and having tea
After that I went to what was apparently the poshest confectionery in town. Had the most beautiful pettit fours. And they were soo amazing.
We played 1812 tonight with all the local groups. About 140 musos in total. I will try and upload a video some time of the recording. its 1.9 gig so i need to chomp it a bit first.
We also saw the spanish group dancing tonight. Their dancing style is very much different from what we are used to back home, More emotive but perhaps a bit less accurate, However thats might just be because the spanish dancing ive seen was done by ballerinas. Today they will be doing some flamenco dancing and Im quite keen to see that.
Anyhow, I need to get ready for the day. We have two performances today, and a big party. So lets hit it!
So today we went to Neuschwanstein. This is a beautiful Castle that was built for a king who lived there for a very short time before being declared insane, and then dying on very strange circumstances
Anyhow, Our tour guide was very dull and boring and could clearly be doing something better somewhere else. After the tour I went over to the bridge and took some beautiful photos. I also bought a water colour bit of artwork wich is truely beautiful. When I went to the bridge I decided not to wait for people and ended up roaming around on my own. And this was good for the soul. As much as I love band people, Im not used to being around a large group for an extended time period. I ended up going to have lunch in the hotel on my own. Had something that was like a Veal. In a cream sauce.
We then had a rehearsal followed by a drink out with the local germans. I really do enjoy this place. Chatted to Alexandra a bit today. She is aupairing in australia in a couple of weeks time, and wants to study IT.
Tomorrow we are meeting the Mayor and having a late concert and midnight market. Looking forward to spend some time in the local town.
Yesterday I saw dirndl for about 100 euro. If I had a girl I would sooo buy myself Lederhozen and Dirndl for her. Its such awesome clothes.
This tour has made me realise I need to travel more. Within the next 12 months I will either go into africa for a week or three and to India for a week or so. Whether I go on my own or with a small group, is still to be decided. But I need to travel. Come hell or high water.
Anyhow. Bed time. Looong day tomorrow, though its starting much later.
So yesterday we had out first concert in Bad Überkingen. It went well, However, The band was partially cooked under the stage lights in a venue with seemingly no ventilation. The concert itself didnt go too badly and startwars was awesome, with 4 horns. The Mayor of the small town we played in said that this was the best concert that has been played in his town hall according to my hosts who came and watched the concert.
During the day we went to a another castle and a small open air meuseem. in the castle I had some dish that had lentils and Wurst in it. It was absolutely amazing.
For supper we had maultaschen which was tasty and different.
Anyhow, We have a loooong day ahead to ciao!
So today was quite a bit quieter. We went to the porsche Museum and learnt some new stuff, and then went to the ludwigsberg palace.
So we visited the museum and Nina and I decided to have a cuppa (well a coke and a pretzel) beforehand. The tour was nice. and saw some very nice and very pricey toys. Sometimes I wished I had one
Ludwigsberg was a lot more interesting, However our feet were dead by the end of the tour. Before we went touring Steph and I went shopping quick. She needed some wheat free stuff and I needed some corn flower to make milktart with and I needed to print something for Anna. So we went hunting in town. We made it back just in time for the tour, which lasted about 90 minutes of standing around. So that hurt the feet badly.
We then headed back to G for a rehearsal which went a lot better than last nights one. Its really awesome playing with more horns, something which I cant do in Durban that often. We also went out later for a couple of beers.
Wesley and I ended up taking the bus home. We got off one stop too early and needed to navigate our way back to our house. We took some wrong turns and were completely lost for a moment. But thankfully I had a map so we managed our way home eventually. Was a bit of an adventure finding the bus terminal on our own with faulty directions. We caught our bus in the nick of time. anyhow. it will make memories to last for a while.
I also found our that there were stories that a fair maiden and I were wooing each other. As far back as the previous tour. Was a bit of a shock to both of us as we are great friends. Someone suggested we mislead the buggers and confuse the shit out of them. hahahah. anyhow. After walking about 3km, and running 1.5km to the bus station, I am well and properly tired.
I have uploaded photos to facebook again for those interested.
So today we went to rottenberg. Its a medieval town.
We had such fun. Went through a tour of the town. Very quaint.
Brett, Nina , Max, Tom and I went for lunch. had the most awesome saurkraut and Sosauge. Came on a heart shaped plate. Was very cute. I had a hot chocolate with a bit of whiskey for dessert. Was very very pleasant. After that we went to watch an american band play in the Mark Platz, Was an interesting selection of music. They had 14 French horns. I told our conductor I think having so many horns are a problem due to tuning. He responded without thinking twice, “Yes, I only have too and see what problems I have” We went up the City tower, and took some interesting photos. My dad would have loved this place with its Tudor style buildings.
Our trip back home was a long one as we had traffic like Ive never seen in germany before. We had a rehearsal that was rather exhausting. Mainly because we were tired already from the day and I think peoples tempers were rather short. The normal music politics also reared its head unfortunately. But it will blow over quickly.
Our hosts had a fat chat with us when we got home about anything and everything. Its getting easier to communicate with them now. I really wish though I had brought a bottle of SA wine for them. They would really have appreciated it.
Anyhow, i have photos uploaded to Facebook if you wanna see them.
Its been a long day, as Ive had some work related trouble which has been stressing me out, But it all seems to be resolved now so all is happy again in Eddland. Well mostly, but I cant discuss that here Schlaf Gut!
Ok so I know I haven’t really blogged in a long time.Life hasn’t really been awesome enough to blog. Well, I’ve met some pretty darn awesome people. And I divided life is positive enough to blog again. I will be keeping my food related blog posts over to foodgloriousfood.co.za though. I will post about the awesome people after I’m home from Germany though. Anyhow. Germany
So after a gruelling 42 hour travel from Durban to Goppingen we arrived here safely and a smudge tired, as travel sleep really sucks. We went per bus from Durban to Johannesburg, and then had to wait a couple of hours, then flew to Abudabi with Etihad. We waited there for more hours, in a very badly designed airport. And floors, as always are ad to sleep on, and the chairs are even worse. We then got to Frankfurt eventually.Then had to wait some more for the rest of our group to arrive, and then we bussed to the town.
Im staying with a very nice family, Who started us off with a Braai and a beer made in the little area of Jebenhausen. The family seems to enjoy very much the same food as I do so my belly is very happy. Their son is about 19, and very nice. He just finished school and had his matric dance last night. I think he got home at about 6am. hahahah. He suffered a bit coming out with us today I think.
We went to Stutgart, as the weather was crappy this side. Anke came and visited us from Munich. Some trains were cancelled due to the Storms, and so there was a bit of stress. She arrived a bit late, so we were going to take the next train to Stuttgart, but it turns out we could have taken that same train. I really enjoy spending time with my friend from band. Especially Nina, Brett and Anna. They have gotten very much close to my heart.
In Stuttgart we visited an Art gallery, it was right across from the Stuttgart Ballet I really wished we could go in and I could observe. But alas, its a sunday so everything was pretty much closed.We then had a a Doner and a beer, and headed back to G. When we arrived here we decided to have more beer, and did some pub hopping, between the Lion, City Pool and Cafe Rock. After that my host came and fetched me and now I’m home listening to Wesley Practising his Solo while listening to some Orgel music to make the soul happier.
I find it strange, as this is the first tour that I am longing for people back in Durban. I’ve made some really special friends in the last couple of months. And I guess I’m getting old as I am starting to rely more and more on relationships. When I came to Germany first in 2002 I didn’t feel any longing, and the only contact I had with home was on the last day to tell my mom that we were going to be late.
Anyhow, Wesley and I got distracted with his camera and doing some basic Light Painting. Photos will be on facebook soon I am sure