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From Don’s Blackberry…

This is day 4th of rehearsal…it started at 1am when my translator and assistant called to say that she had to return to Hohhut today for a short time. Since it is a 9 hour drive to the nearest airport and a 16 hour drive to Hohhut, it means she will be gone at least for the next 4 days – out of the 10 day rehearsal schedule

I have recent graduates from the Beijing Drama and Music Academies who know a little English and use every opportunity not to use it. And Curly who I have known for 3 years arrived for the first day of rehearsals, But Jiazi’s knowledge about me after the Expo show, and her temperament, and dedication and focus to the show is without match.

I was up till 4am…wondering I only get anxious when I am not understood. I only get mad when I get anxious. Jiazi leaving is a recipe for “Out comes the ugly American.”

She showed up at rehearsal at noon. She went to get a ticket at 6am for the one and only bus out of town. At 11 am she could not get on the bus, but scored one for tomorrow. Got her for another day.

In the meantime the team responded by calling a recent grad from masters in the west. He missed the days rehearsal, wished not to be at the evening planning meeting, had to go to the leaders dinner to ‘pay respect’ to the local hosts. Got plastered and came to the meeting. The meeting was all about making sure he didn’t fall over. The deference to a leader‘s son was choice china. Someone whispers to me… ‘he’s had a bit too much. They made him drink.’ Yeah! I know! Do you want to tell him???

FYI…You can’t do a business planning dinner in china – the table moves, there are too many glasses of liquor varieties, add the soups with heads down when slurping noodles, and no one has food on their plate. You all reach for each chopstick of squeezed food.

Nothing like holding a big mac and dreaming big.

As I was told yesterday, the male dancers would not be rehearsing this morning!

I chalked out in the desert on the parking lot 3 sections. Map reading is not an inherent skill – no wonder there were all the border wars in the last 3000 years.

I LOVE rehearsing camels. No double translations to Mongolian – just PULL THE ROPE. Ok!