China Report: Wuxi to Hangzhou

December 15, 2007 at 3:18 pm (General Information, Overseas Tour) (, , , , , )

Waiting for ever - Photo: Neil G Jarman

Our fate was taken out of our hands today on the coach journey from Wuxi to Hangzhou. A journey that was scheduled to take 2 ½ hours became close to 6 hours! As soon as we left Wuxi, it became extremely foggy and the roads were incredibly bumpy and the driver seemed to have a death wish. We were on two coaches and there seemed to be an ongoing competition to see which could undertake the other in the most hazardous conditions. It was probably the worst and most scary driving we have ever experienced. Ultimately, it was miraculous that we made it without collision although we did see that aftermath of one or two mishaps on route.

The effects of the fog were brought to bear even more spectacularly when the highway was closed at the toll booth between Jiangsu Province (where Wuxi is situated) and Zhejiang Province (where Hangzhou is situated) due to the weather and we remained stationary for more than an hour. The lack of toilet facilities soon became an issue as we waited with no indication of how long we might be stuck -“sometimes it can be 10 minutes and sometimes 3 hours”

Eventually we did make it to the familiar territory of the New Century Hotel and the Company soon forgot the tedium of the journey and were out re-visiting the places they discovered in January 2006 – and particularly Starbucks.

Not such a good situation for the Technicians who were 2 hours late starting the fit up at the Grand Theatre. The schedule was already tight and this delay did not help. The situation was then further aggravated by the theatre staff deciding that we had to finish at 10pm. The Technicians returned to the hotel in a positive frame of mind and happy that they would be ready for tomorrow’s Technical Rehearsal.

The final piece of news from today is that the Promoter may have found another City for us to perform in on 27 December instead of Hefei. No further information yet but it is incredible that a performance can be agreed 10 days before the date and still get an audience (or not.)

Police blockade the road ahead

There’s always time for a company photo - Photo: Neil G Jarman

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