I got invited to the Beijing International Chamber Orchestra’s Christmas party this past Saturday, as I have now joined and the director wanted me to meet some of the members of the orchestra. So, I looked up directions to try to find this random Japanese restaurant where they were meeting.
Then the ridiculousness began. First I got on the bus, where it took thirty minutes to go two bus stops. I was so crazypants that I got off two stops before I meant too, even though I knew that I would have to transfer subway lines this way. But traffic was absolutely terrible. and traffic here is always terrible. but Saturday it was superteraterrible.
So I hopped a line 4 subway. And, I have to say, I have never seen a line 4 train packed like a line 1 train. So I decided to wait for the next train. But the train didn’t seem to be leaving. So I got on the train. and we sat there. For about ten minutes while experiencing technical difficulties. Then, with a fully loaded car, we set off. Then we got to the next station and twenty more people proceeded to push their way in through the door.
“Oh yes, thank you for knocking one of my feet out from under me. I most certainly enjoy riding the subway with one thousand of my closest friends nowhere near a handrail, and standing on one foot. It’s my favorite.”
So that was terrible.
Eventually I got to the right subway station, half and hour after the dinner had already started. Then I wandered about aimlessly trying to find the restaurant and failing miserably at that until finally, chilled to the bone, I decided to head home along a different path. I hoped, against all hope, that I might find the place on the way back. I didn’t. But before I got back to the subway station, I decided to turn back and attempt once more. This time to follow the directions in their most literal sense and none of my abstract and metaphorical direction following of the past. And, low and behold, the restaurant appeared!
Only an hour late for dinner is not too late, right?
And a good time was had by all. I made new friends! Four of them were British, three of them were American, two of them were Taiwanese, one Dutch, one Georgian, and one Russian.
And this concert season we will be playing Peer Gynt, Egmont, Mozart 40, some Mozart violin concerto, some Tchaik violin concerto, and some other random stuff. Should be fun. I’m probably going to be playing second all the time, but that’s alright with me considering I’ve already played the second part on the three big pieces. Multiple times. Whatever. I’m just happy to have found some musician friends.
Much love from Beijing,