It’s been a while since we wrote and part of the reason is because I traveled to Shanghai for the Music China Expo of musical instrument vendors in China and to Hong Kong for an EARCOS music workshop at HKIS with a fantastic Orff clinician from the USA. It was a great trip (although I was barely over jet lag from the last one), I was very thankful to be able to go and I learned a lot of things:
1. Conventions for musical instrument vendors=very loud exhibition centers.
2. Traveling with Chinese colleagues for business=24 hour cultural dialogue.
3. Going back to your old place of employment=bittersweet nostalgia.
4. There are a lot of really fantastic music teachers at international schools in Asia. I have a lot to learn.
5. I get why so often people who travel for work don’t look at their free business travel as a “perk.” It’s frustrating being in a place and not having tons of time to take advantage of all the wonderful things (ie. food and retail therapy) there.
Nonetheless, I still found time to network, shop, build guanxi with music vendors, check in with good (and hungry) friends in two cities, eat things I can’t find in Chengdu, and of course, sing, dance and play instruments. I came back home to a bit of chaos, Chengdu in the news and UN Day at school this Friday, but overall I’m just relieved to be in one place for a while.