Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Week 3(cont)

More pictures to follow:
owen 002.jpg
This is a close-up of the walkway in the main part of town. The reason I think this is funny, is that instead of purchasing dimpled pavers, they had someone go around with a hammer and chisel and actually ping them in by hand!!

owen 003.jpg
This is a (possbily sideways) 'tree' on the top of a hill. I say 'tree' because it's actually a China Telecom radio tower. The even more remarkable thing is:
owen 004.jpg
They put in fake roots!! The only people who are going to see them are the Telecom workers, and maybe some badgers, or whatever they have here in China.

Must go, more later about mad bartering deals, and whatnot.
Cheers, Captainowie.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Week 3

Sorry it's taken so long to get this updated, internet connections are hard to come by.
Anyway, we've had our first performances, and what a joke they've been - we played for some dignitaries who arrived, and then walked away. We played for about 5 mins total! We then did the same thing the next day, except it was cold and windy. That normally wouldn't bother me, but the kilts they've given us are cheap and light, so blow up really easily, and don't keep the warmth in. But such is life.

I have some photos uploaded, I will try to display them here now, but the language barrier may prove difficult.
owen 001.jpg
If this works, you should be seeing a photo of a model of The Park. (Or 2, or perhaps 0)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Week 1.5

I've been shown the website for The Park (
Our show will be performed in "Interlaken Town", and "Tea Stream Valley" is very close, and very beautiful.
I have taken loads of pictures, and as soon as I find a satisfactory way to upload them, I will post a selection here (presuming I can find a way to do that, the Chinese thing again! - to make matters worse, the computer I'm on now has the Chinese version of XP loaded, so all the menu options are unreadable!)
There is not much to do, given that The Park is still not open - I'm really regretting having left my crossword and puzzle books at work on my last day :-(
Anyway, I'd best be off - things not to do, places not to go!
Cheers, Captainowie.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Week 1

Ok, so there's a resort being built in the Southern China city of Shenzhen (Just across from the border with Hong Kong) I've been here for a week and I still don't know exactly what it's supposed to be, but it seems to pay homage to tea - there's certainly lots of it around. Anyway, this resort has a house Pipe band (it's the Chinese, who needs a reason?), and I'm a part of that band.

I had intended to make regular updates to this weblog (weekly or so), but Internet access is sporadic - I am currently using Wayne's laptop (Wayne is another Aussie, which is nice to have someone else who thinks everyone drives on the wrong side of the road!), but it would be a bit rude to keep using this all the time, so another solution needs to be found. In the mean time, a brief rundown on the week or so since I left Australia.

The flight from Sydney was long but uneventful, then a 2-hour drive from the airport to (what will be referred to herein as) The Park - there were no flights into Hong Kong available.
When we finally arrived, I found that my bed had no linen - so I basically slept in my jacket, on this bed with no mattress. Well, I say no mattress because the thing on the bed base hardly qualifies it was that thin and stiff (I've since purchased a foam mattress to go on top, so I can acually sleep at night!).
I was introduced to the rest of the band (Robert, the Pipe Major from Canada; Aragorn and John, the twins also from Canada; Victor, the drummer from Texas, and my roommate; Ashley from Canada, and Wayne and Geoff from Australia) over the course of the next couple of days, and they have shown me around Dongmen (the city), Dameisha (the beach area) and The Park.
The food here is very repetitive, and I've heard some horror stories of what's in some of the dishes, but there is always rice (and it's a good thing I like rice!) and usually some veggies that don't taste half bad. I must remember to thank Mum and Dad for giving me the opportunity to practice using chopsticks.

The music I'm required to play is quite difficult - certainly compared to anything I've played before, but I'm getting the hang of it slowly. Fortunatley The Park doesn't open for another month, so I've got plenty of time to practice. I'm going to be a damn good drummer by the time I'm done here.

Anyway, if I write any more, my fingers are likely to fall off.
Until next time.
Cheers, Captainowie.