Day 18: Concert in Nanning

Today we slept until quite late, because we were pretty tired after the late flight last night. After a yummy lunch at the Flowery Banquet Hall, we walked to the concert hall for the soundcheck for tonight's performance.

The traffic in the city was crazy! There were thousands of motorbikes all riding on the footpath - we nearly had a few head-ons!

We ended up making it safely to the venue, to find a giant billboard with our pictures on it!

The concert hall was built in 1950, which is very old by Chinese standards. I just learnt that all the buildings here have a lifetime of 70 years - they are "born" at a certain date, and no matter what happens, the government reclaims possession of them 70 years after that date. So when you buy real estate here, you are told what year the house was born, and therefore how many more years you will be in possession of it before it is reclaimed. If you buy a house that is 60 years old, in 10 years time you will have to give it back. Usually the building will be destroyed and a new one constructed. I guess it keeps the building industry healthy! Anyway, this concert theatre was like walking into a time-warp from 1950. Check out our dressing room!

Or should I say, our "Disguise Room"

Anyway, the concert went really well - there were over 800 people in the audience! They were appreciative, albeit noisy, but the hall had miked us up so that we would project over the constant murmer of voices, camera shutters, mobile phones, sniffs, yawns, etc. We played Haydn C major Trio, Elena Kats-Chernin Spirit and the Maiden, Schubert Nocturne, Ravel Trio, Piazzolla Spring, and the Finale movement of Beethoven trio Op. 1 No. 1 for the encore.

Afterwards, we were mobbed by hundreds of fans, wanting to buy CDs, have them signed, have their pictures taken with us, have their programs signed... We were happy to oblige - we felt like movie stars!

We finished up pretty late, so we ended up ordering room service back at our hotel. Marty and Ben ordered steak and chips, which was fine. I thought I'd be pretty safe ordering "Chicken with Scallions and Ginger"... And then this showed up: