Saturday, January 10, 2009

Riverdance: A Journey to Taipei, Part 1

I tried starting writing this post when I was in the LA airport waiting for 4am to come around so that I could check in my luggage. I had started with realizing how it had only been a week since I had gone and here I was already back in the US, when I realized that I couldn't do it then-- it was still too fresh so rather I went back to my pictures and started looking at them. My I must have looked a sight to the lady sitting next to me, it was 2 in the morning, I have my laptop open on my lap and I am looking at my computer with tears streaming down my face. I didn't know what I was crying for more, that I was happy to be back in the United States or over how much I missed these kids that I was looking at the pictures of. I still have a hard time when I look at pictures of those wonderful little kids that I miss so much, but I also realize that it is time to finish writing about my trip before it is too far away and I don't remember. (sorry really random beginning I know)

What a grand adventure it was to be able to go to Taipei to see Riverdance, of course knowing me I could not go anywhere without things happening. I was very lucky to not have as early a train ride as last time I went to Taipei, but I still had a pretty early ride so Friday night went to bed early and had all of my stuff ready to go. Most of the ride to Taipei I slept (fro some reason I could never get on the train and stay awake the whole time), except I did keep on startling awake feeling like someone was watching me, finally I saw a little boy peaking at me through the cracks in the seats.

Finally I arrived in Taipei at the Main Station. Teacher Stephanie had told me that the show was going to be at a certain place and I knew that it was supposed to be close to the train station but I couldn't quite remember where it was so I went to the information desk and showed them my ticket and explained that I was trying to get to this place. They started to tell me that I had to take the MRT to Taipei 101 and then catch the bus to 101 and then walk some, I was like, "umm, can't I just walk there," they laughed at me and then told me that, no it was too far away. I was still confused and thought that I should be able to walk there but I decided to trust them and get on the MRT. I took the MRT to the city hall stop, there was a free shuttle that would take me all the way from the MRT to Taipei 101, but because it is free the lines are always really long and the buses really crowded so I decided to just walk. When I got to 101 I was a little confused about the next part of the directions so I pulled my ticket back out and stopped a police officer about where I should be going. They pointed the directions to me and I began to walk, I had my ipod on and wasn't really paying attention, just walking, when randomly I looked up and there it was- right in front of me!

I walked inside and double checked that I was in the right building and then quickly realized that I was hungry, but I was pretty far away from anything that was going to be cheap and I didn't really want to wander too far away (I get stressed out about time, even though I had arrived like an hour and a half before the show was supposed to start). Luckily there was a little cafe kind of thing inside and I bought me some lunch (it advertised hamburger but when I really got it, it was a ham and cheese sandwich, I thought that, that was funny but it was good all the same), I also bought some cheesecake kind of thing that had raisins in it- it was good except the raisin part.

While I was waiting to be able to go inside the auditorium area I noticed that there was a table that was selling, books, DVD's, shirts, mugs, etc. of stuff about Riverdance..I have never had my own Riverdance movie and so I thought that it would be cool to buy the DVD as it was only $12 US for 2 DVD's, I almost bought them when I stopped myself as I remembered the last time I had bought a movie in Taiwan- it wouldn't work because of the codes. After I changed my mind about the DVD's I headed to my seat (about 40 minutes before the show was supposed to start :D). I was looking at my ticket and slowly going up the stairs when I had the thought "wouldn't it be sad if my ticket was the last row?"...well guess what, it was :( and even worse the numbers were switched on my row, all the other rows went seat #1 was on the right and went to the left but on my row seat #1 was on the left and so I was out further even. But I finally found my seat and took the opportunity of extra time to start writing down everything that had happened so far that day.

As I was sitting, waiting for the show to start somethings that I noticed were happening (sorry these will all be kind of random, they were written down as I thought of them):
*There was this random guy that was yelling out in Chinese- he would yell about every five minutes and it sounded like it was always the same thing to me, I could never find where he was yelling from though.
*Irish music was playing in the background, even though I knew the show was going to be a little different considering it was in a Chinese community hearing the music from Riverdance made it all real to me and seem like I was used to..it also helped to calm my excitement.
*Some people were obviously very used to coming to the shows in this particular building and having the cheaper seats (meaning seats at the very back of the auditorium), as soon as they sat down many people started pulling out their binoculars and looking around them...it kind of made me feel like I was in the movies for an opera scene where all the ladies had their opera glasses and men had their eye-glasses. As funny as it was to see people doing that it also made me kind of wish that I had $200 to just spend on a ticket so that I could have been really close.
*From my viewpoint the stage looks really small...I think that it was smaller even than most Riverdance stages.
*There were two couples-one on either side of me, the couple on the left smelled of smoke, alcohol, or tobacco, I'm not sure which one, but I did know that he smelled really bad. The couple on my right was really kind and they even talked to me a little bit. The lady asked me if I was a student doing a report because of all my writing, I explained to her that I was here interning and that I easily forget details so I had to write everything down as the day went.
*I'm not sure if I ever said but I was at the TICC- Taipei International Conference Center, there was several big things going on that day.
*I am kind of sad that I won't be able to watch it but I am pretty sure Lion King was coming soon to the Conference Center.
*At 3 minutes till showtime I started to get VERY EXCITED!, I was pretty sure that I could hear footsteps as people were getting into place. I had also not seen any white people there.
*The company was a smaller company than I was used to but they were still wonderful. I found it really amazing how they magnify the sound from the feet so well- I kind of wonder how they do that.
* The escalators were sweet, they wouldn't work until you stepped on this pad thing at the very bottom or top of them and then they would start working- it had it all figured out too for how long it would take you to get to the top or bottom. The first time I figured that out I was walking up to the escalators, I saw that they weren't working but I was like oh well I guess I'll just walk up them anyway, I had just stepped onto them when they started going- WEIRD!
*The intermission came a lot faster than I thought it would, about an hour after it had started and it really confused me as they did the ending dance before the intermission- so I thought that it was over, but I knew that they still had more to do. Oh well!
*I changed my mind and decided to buy the DVD anyway- I figured that if it wouldn't work they would make good Christmas/Thank You presents for those in Taiwan. I bought myself one and then decided to get mom/dad one also- I said if they didn't work it would be perfect for Teacher Stephanie and the Chu Family. (But YIPEE!!! they worked :D)
*The people wouldn't let me just walk all the way down the stairs inside the auditorium- I had to go outside and use the elevator or the escalator, both which took a really long time as there was lots of people trying to go downstairs during the intermission to get to the bathroom and to where they were selling things.

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