This week I ran a range of workshops for Ginger Cat for children aged between 4 and 12. From creating shadow puppets and ‘becoming’ the Very Hungry Caterpillar, to singing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ dressed as a rockstar porcupine (*considers whether to post a photo or not*), my job never fails to surprise me!
Continuing on the theatre note, Joe, Qin, Angel and I were lucky enough to get the chance to see We Live By The Sea, a production by UK based Patch of Blue theatre company. Whilst portraying many of the ups and downs of living with a relative who has autism, the piece proudly celebrated individuality. The live music and a simplistic set echoed the brave and powerful decision to strip the piece back to portray the raw emotions felt by each character. Although it was clear where the British audience members were sat during the performance, due to the chuckles in moments of light relief where Captain Birdseye’s Fish Fingers and the Arctic Monkeys were mentioned, the use of body language and facial expression ensured that no matter what level of English you had, the performance’s message could be understood by all. What a lovely evening seeing a brilliant piece of theatre and hearing the actors’ Yorkshire accents was a nice reminder of home.
Ok, fine! Here's a photo of me as a rockstar porcupine...
We experienced two different sides to Beijing this week. On Sunday we explored some of the Hutongs by bike (narrow alleyways in residential areas), and saw buildings which house up to 7 families. Whilst on our biking tour, we had a (not very successful) go at Jianzi 毽子, a sport played in the streets using what looks like a large handmade shuttlecock. As you can see, we need a bit of practice...
Yesterday was quite a contrasting experience as we went up 80 floors in lift (*gulp*) and looked down over the
skyscrapers and landmarks of Beijing. It was surreal going in a lift where your ears pop 3 times before you get to the top! Your legs tell you not to look down, but once you get over that, the view is incredible!
Other highlights this week have to include having pizza delivered to our boat which we had hired for an evening on Houhai Lake and participating in a spinning class at the local gym - taught completely in Mandarin!
New foods tried this week: White fungus and goji berry soup (not quite my cup of tea!), pickled jellyfish pieces (again, not something I’d choose over chicken), and a sweet taro pie (from McDonald’s - shhhh! Cooked in the same way as their apple pies in England, but rather strange as taro is a vegetable… Still, I couldn’t just have a cheeseburger and chips could I?!)