Tuesday, January 10, 2012

China Trip Wrap Up

Here's our travel summary, memories that stand out, and a few interesting pictures that Doug took while we were there.  I'm sure I'll be adding things to the "memories" part of this post over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime you can read the day-by-day details and see some of the many photos I took in the preceding posts (click on the link).

12/21/11:  Train from Bridgeport, CT to 125th Street Station, M30 bus to LaGuardia, flights to O'Hare and then Beijing, short night of sleep.  LINK

12/22/11:  skipped due to crossing the international date line I think.  LINK

12/23/11:  bus to train, train to Qingdao, bus to hotel, dinner, sleep.  LINK

12/24/11:  daytime free, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep. LINK

12/25/11:  early bus to airport, flight to Dalian, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

12/26/11:  bus to Jinzhou, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

12/27/11:  bus to Chaoyang, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, overnight bus to Beijing  LINK

12/28/11:  flight to Shenzhen, bus to hotel, lunch, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

12/29/11:  short bus ride to Guangzhou, lunch, free time, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

12/30/11:  bus to airport, all day flight to Shenyang, bus to hotel, dinner, sleep. LINK

12/31/11:  morning sightseeing, dumplings, afternoon walking, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK #1   LINK #2   LINK #3

01/01/12:  very early bus to train station, train to Beijing, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

01/02/12:  day off in Beijing!!!  LINK

01/03/12:  very early bus to airport, flight to Xi'an, bus to hotel, rehearsal, concert, dinner, sleep.  LINK

01/04/12:  bus to Terra Cotta Warriors and back, afternoon in Xi'an, evening flight to Beijing, bus to hotel. LINK #1  LINK #2

01/05/12:  early bus to airport, flight from Beijing to Chicago, then LaGuardia, M30 bus to Harlem, train to Bridgeport, car to Trumbull. LINK

Favorite things about the trip include playing the concerts, the excellent orchestra full of outstanding musicians and wonderful people, the fabulous conductor, the interesting and delicious banquets that we had night after night, seeing a lot of the non-touristy parts of China in addition to some of the major sights, and getting to know some of the people who lived in all of the many different places we visited.  But the highlight of each day for me was playing the concert.  I love making music with these people.  It was a wonderful experience that I would have enjoyed no matter where we were playing.

I have new appreciation for the rather posh existence we have back here in the USA, especially for our high standards of cleanliness, the relatively unpolluted air, drinkable tap water, and normal toilets.  These are all things that are very easy to take for granted.  Now I feel lucky to have them.  And those are just some of the superficial things.  There are an awful lot of far more important things from this trip that I observed,  learned from, and am still digesting.  I may or may not discuss these things in future posts.

A couple of the other orchestra members are blogging about our experiences as well.  I've really enjoyed hearing about the trip from their perspective - it's very cool the way their memories enhance my own.  Here are some links to those blogs:

From "Symphony Now"

Notes from the Viola Section


And here are a few of Doug's favorite photos that he took while we were there:

Some people are still using a good old donkey to get around.


cell phone tree

It kind of looks like he took his bike to go shopping at Ikea.

Is this a three-wheeled car, or some kind of deluxe motorcycle?

Pretending to look horrified - No, I did NOT eat that chicken head!

halfway through one of our many banquets, can't remember which one.


Kristin said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. It looks like a wonderful adventure.

Cyndy said...

You're welcome! It was wonderful indeed.

Barbara said...

How did I miss all this wonderful reporting on your trip?! Probably because I seldom read Blogs these days. I loved the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit when it was here at the Nat'l Geographic. I can only imagine how impressive the real thing is! I loved the banquets too when I was in China a million years ago except for the 100-year-old eggs which they kept featuring and which I grew to detest. It looks like you covered an awful lot of ground in just a short time. So great that you could travel together for a change!

When I was there, there were very few private cars and not even too many taxis. The bicycle was used for everything including moving whole households at the same time. Incredible!

Cyndy said...

Hi Barbara! I imagine it would be even more interesting to have seen it from your perspective because it seems like a lot of what we saw had not been there for very long - especially the section of Xian we stayed in, and all of the concert halls.

We definitely packed alot in to a relatively short period of time. But it was wonderful to have this opportunity to see so much in addition to playing with such an excellent group of musicians.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Not sure what's going on with my blog. I see that you attempted to comment three times on my most recent post and I got the comments in my email but they don't seem to be showing up on the blog. No idea why! Thanks for your support. And I apologize on behalf of effin Blogger.

Cyndy said...

I know!!! I kept trying to to leave that super-hilarious comment about the mole sauce, which I'm obviously very proud of, but it kept going away. Sorry you had to read 3 different versions of it.

I think I'm being punished by Blogger for my lack of participation now that I've joined FB. And I have no idea what to do about it. Oh well....