On the Road Again

Back on the road with Woodie Alan. I am in Suzhou, about to leave the hotel to catch a bus to Hangzhou (which is about two hours away). We played Suzhou last night and Nanjing the night before.

It is really gratifying and exciting to show up in some place and have people come out, pay money to see us and enjoy it, without knowing us or having any personal connection. Every time we do that it affirms something good. On the other hand — man, this is exhausting.

Flew from BJ to Nanjing on an early morning flight so had to wake up at 5. We took an early train from there to here, so had to wake up at 5.30. Today we got to sleep a little. We are leaving here at 10 am, which is in two minutes…

We have three gigs in two days in Hangzhou including a performance at an International Harmonica Festival and then back to Beijing.

It is really fun to do this. I love waking up i the morning as I did today and strolling the streets alone, just checking it all out. We are staying in these business class hotels, which cost about $30 a night and are clean and efficient — and obviously have internet. They tend to be in decent, regular neighborhoods, so morning strolls are nice. I went over and got a big bowl of spicy rice noodles for breakfast, with a five year old at the table next to me pointing at me and saying over and over to her dad, “The foreigner eats noodles!”

It’s also a good reality check, though, because aside from being exhausted it can be lonely. I miss my family like crazy and feel really sad about skipping Halloween. I really just wanted to squeeze this trip in.

One other highlight: in Nanjing, we had dinner with Zhong Yang’s parents. It was the first time I’ve met any of the guys’ folks and she cooked us a feast and was very entertaining, telling us about her heartbreak about her son becoming a musician. That sounds a little cavalier, but I don’t have time to explain better. More later.

Here are some photos from last weekend at Jianghu Jiuba, our favorite little Beijing club.

3 replies
  1. C. B. Whittemore
    C. B. Whittemore says:

    Alan, thanks for dropping by. I, too, love google alerts.

    BTW, your ExPat perspective is fascinating and I love how you are immersing yourself. As a kid, I spent several years in French-speaking West Africa. Not quite as extreme altho we purposely lived outside of the American compounds and I attended local french schools. Then, as a grownup – I took part in a trip to Japan and China. Our favorite city in China was Kunming. I’m sure it has changed significantly in 15 years.

    Thanks for sharing it all here and in WSJ online.

  2. alanpaul
    alanpaul says:

    You’re welcome. Your blog really did fascinate me.

    It has been a great, great run for me in hina. I am very sad to walk away from life, especially the band.

    Kunming and that whole area is still fantastic.

  3. Fortune Park Hotels Ltd
    Fortune Park Hotels Ltd says:

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