CHINA 2012 part seven (and final!)

December 2, Sunday

In the middle of the 12 hour return flight from Beijing to Los Angeles.  Then on to a connecting flight to Chicago and to finish with the 7 hour drive to Minneapolis.  Earlier, we flew from Gangzhou, the metropolis near Dongguan, to Beijing.  So, it is quite a hike.

Now some final random observations:

1.  So much to process about this country, the people, the culture.  I am overwhelmed, and this is my 2nd time here.

2.  Incredible, massive airports, super modern in design and layout.

3.  Beautiful, huge theaters—we played to well over 10,000 Chinese these past 10 days.  the theater 2 nights back had construction (almost…) completed 2 months ago.  Temps of 50 degrees in the corridors, the heat in our dressing room finally climbed to 66 after 3 hours.

4.  I watched a solitary worker outside my hotel room window.  He worked for 10 hours with a simple shovel and pick-axe.  Backbreaking labor that amounted to what a Bobcat could do in 15 minutes.

5.  Lots of dim lighting.  Bulbs that don’t get hot to the touch.  Escalators that turn themselves off when no-one is on them.  Elevator doors that close after about 7 seconds.  The Chinese do not waste energy.

6.  Loads of ethnicity:  many very tall people, many very small, many very good looking men and women.  Super fashionably dressed.

7.  They’re crazy for basketball.  Must be the Yao Ming factor.  I watched Stefon Marbury (former NBA star) lead his team to the CBA  championship.  I predict a large influx of Chinese players to the NBA within a few years.

8.  Its no secret the Chinese love ping-pong.  Public tables in the parks and the level of play is very high.

9.  Security was extremely tight leaving Beijing this evening and all the officials were extremely…earnest.

10.  Hot meals served on all or nearly all domestic flights.  Good food, too.  And drinks.  Flight crews very accommodating regarding musical instruments.  Take note:  US AIR!

11.  I was called upon, with 2 minutes notice, to give a speech during intermission last evening.  I spoke slowly, in English (duh!), and stuck in a few Chinese phrases I’ve picked up.  We were mobbed afterwards, signing autographs, posing for pictures, showered with flowers.  Magnificent way to end a tour!