Anna Moench is in China this month and will be be filling us in on her adventures... This is from early Saturday morning:
Ni hao! This August I'm missing out on the excitement of the Youngblood retreat, the NY Fringe Festival, Eli's reading, and countless Central Park picnics. Thanks to suppport from the generous people at the Jerome Foundation, I'm going to be in Beijing and the Loess Plateau researching Chinese burial practices and performance forms in preparation for my next play.
I flew in to Beijing last night after a long and relatively smooth journey. I didn't end up getting quarantined by health officials seeking out swine flu carriers, thank god. In the Shanghai airport, where I had a layover, some guy from Afghanistan spent 20 minutes telling me about his 2 wives before giving me a handful of unshelled almonds and asking if I'd like to come with him to Dubai to sell some cars. If I weren't a writer on a mission, the answer might very well have been yes. Who doesn't want to go to Dubai and sell some cars?
Now that I'm here, I plan on seeing a bunch of Peking Opera, traditional and modern dance, puppetry, and maybe even a drama, although I won't understand it at all. I'd love to tell you more about my morning exploring Beijings warren-like hutongs, but there is a World of Warcraft addict incessantly pummelling his keyboard next to me in this internet cafe and I am filled with the desire to do the same to his face. I need to leave. I'll do my best to keep you guys in the loop. Zaijian!