Yesterday I attended the 60th anniversary of students abroad coming to China. The event was marked with a dozen important people in a giant auditorium giving speeches, and a show that made the 80's jealous. Of course, it didn't start on time. We arrived when we were supposed to, at one o'clock (me, being a typical Norwegian, arrived 20 minutes early), and after some confusing minutes we finally found our teacher and went to get the tickets to get inside. That is, went to another building, were asked to stand in line - and then some guy gave our teacher the tickets and we went back to the first building. No-one really got the whole stand in line-thing, but this is China, after all, and nothing is too bureaucratic. We went into the main building, a quite large one that I've earlier been told is a cinema - but it was enormous inside! It was at least double the size of Norway's largest cinema, and getting packed with people.
Even though our tickets had seat numbers on them, our teacher took us to the best seats and said it would be no problem - but of course it turned out to be. We were chased away by guards to our own seats, which had much worse view. And then we waited. And waited. Not until 2:30 did something start to happen, then drop to a complete stop as the speeches began. In chinese. In a chinese we didn't understand anything off. I woke up as I lost my cell phone on the floor and it made that lovely cell-phone-hits-floor sound, confused and still half-asleep - and looked straight into one of the many cameras filming the crowd. I'll never be invited to Chinese festivities ever again.
After what seemed like a hundred years, but probably was around one hour, the speeches were over and the show started. Never before have I seen so much glam in one place! Like my friend Wang Xiaojie said: It was what it would have looked like if Bobbysocks had all the money and technology to get everything they ever dreamt of in their show in the Eurovision Song Contest.
(for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, this is Bobbysocks ...). We're talking soap bubble machines, one ton gold confetti, smoke machines (making the glittery dancers float on "clouds" - kinda like Moomin<3), an insane amount of sparkling costumes, and of course - trance music. I have no idea why Chinese always insist on having trance beats to their traditional costume dances, but here it was again.
The show was kind of good, actually! Some of the dancers were really good, and it made up for the total lack of a good start. Next time I'm bringing my iPhone with games on for the speech part ...