Thursday, June 5, 2008

China Day 06: Ki-Yah!

"Word one is, you don't call me 'master' and I don't name you after some damn insect." - Lu Tze, Thief of Time

Today is our last day in Beijing, so we were up at 5:30 AM for final packing and putting-out of the luggage. After our last breakfast at this delightful buffet, we hung out in the lobby where I was able to get about halfway down the heel flap of my sock.

At 8:00 Fred collected our passports and herded us onto the bus. We have two stops today before hitting the airport for Shanghai: a Kung Fu school and a jade factory (the second of our Exclusive Shopping Opportunities).

Our Kung Fu school is run by a guy who trained under real Shaolin monks, and some of these students will be participating in the Opening Ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, which is quite the honor. (BTW, all the videos of the actual ceremony seem to have been taken down. This is a link to a practice video.)

We sat down in an auditorium with a few rows of airport-waiting-room chairs in front of a stage, and enjoyed the mini-show the students put on. They did a little Chinese-New-Year Dragon dance:
and a bed-of-nails thing
and then did some numbers that were half way between katas and modern dance. One young man did chain fighting like in Van Gulik's "The Red Pavilion" - if you are interested in China, definitely give this mystery series a try.

After the performance, the students were willing to pose with us for photos.
They seemed like very nice guys. I think this is the cutest member of the troupe, though:

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