Day 4, Saturday, October 23, 2010
On paper, working with translators sounds fine and fun. Not to say that it wasn't, but it sure was a different experience than we expected. First of all, theatre itself is a different language with different terminology and way of saying things. Our translators were young students whose English was quite good if I do say so myself, but it took some of them a little time to acclimate to our slightly odd terminology. Of our translators, children's and adult chorus, only one or two had ever been in a theatre before.
Whether from stress or adjusting to local stuff, my stomach finally decided to get upset. Over the last few days, I wasn't the only one. We've not been drinking the water so maybe it's our extra fun cultural situation that is lending itself to our gastrointestinal fun. Thankfully, I came prepared with American over-the-counter medication and we were all feeling significantly more human as the day passed.
Saturday was still a very long day even though we canceled major rehearsals. It was spent trying to figure out how the show would run with translators, an entirely Chinese speaking crew and a slightly different way of doing things. We weren't short on people, that's for sure, and what we did with one or two people in the US, we now did with four or five. But it took awhile to make sure we were speaking the same technical language, before and after Chinese/English translation. Once it was figured out, things felt smoother - even without translated paperwork. We would later learn that it didn't matter, but that's a long story.
Day 4's post will be rounded out by more Life in Beijing pictures, as I remembered to take my camera out more and more, and because I"m sure Day 5's post and pictures are post enough on their own.
We went for a pre-work walk and discovered what must be another relic from the Olympics - a shopping center that bears an amazing resemblance to one in Salt Lake City, UT. There we saw amusing things like funny signs, an odd store and a cool vending machine:
On our way we saw many more sights of Beijing:
And you can see, our days are still dreary, though thankfully not rainy.
Look, the sun! Sort of:
And yet another Chinese product that even the most adventurous of all of us won't touch:
And considering the size of the city, during our nearly 2 week stay there, we only heard police sirens once. The emergency vehicles don't use their sirens the way they do in the states. Then again, Beijing drivers use their horns like no one else.
The brooms in China are something else - I used one once and I'm amazed it swept at all:
And again, they certainly don't hide their sex shops like they do in the US:
More soon... these may go on temporary hiatus as I'm going to be without regular internet access for a week starting on the 9th.