So the first time that I heard we were going to a paper-cuts festival I thought: Why would anyone go to see paper cuts? And WHY would ANYONE go to see someone purposefully cut themselves?!? Obviously I was mistaken. In case you had a similar image let me explain; paper-cutting is an art form in China. (Shows how much I knew about Chinese art before coming here… ) These paper cut outs are pictures done with only scissors and paper. Sometimes they are created on white paper and later painted. I personally think that painted paper cuts are incredibly beautiful. Obviously, I bought two scrolls. They were my first intro to haggling, although Todd, our assistant director, was the one speaking. It did, however, introduce me to the art of it.
This weekend was interesting to say the least. We were in a hotel with cockroaches, food that was insanely awful, a broken shower in my hotel room, and bedding that constantly felt sticky. Lesson learned from this situation? You can always rely on boiled eggs when traveling abroad, especially in the Chinese countryside. By the end of the trip I had figured out that I liked: eggs, Chinese form of yellow cake, mantou (means foot and head and are buns that expand a ridiculous amount in your stomach). Those three things saved me. In 24 hours I ate 9 hard boiled eggs! I think that is more than I have ever eaten in 48 hours in my life.
At the art-festival I learned what it was like to be a superstar. At least for a weekend. People were constantly pointing their cameras in my direction, and I wasn’t even on stage! We were in the VIP section of the dance ceremony (which is where the picture comes from). All sorts of people would come up to me, grab my hand, tell me I am beautiful, and ask to take a picture with me. Who can refuse someone when they tell you that your beautiful and are sincere? (Now that I think about it, I should have practiced my Chinese with them because no matter what I did they would still be happy with me and it would have been a confidence booster!) During the dancing festivities, the people sitting near me kept taking photos of my reaction to each Aside from these pictures, I kept constantly looking up to see all sorts of cameras pointed at me ranging from point-and-shoots, to SLR cameras (big cameras), to TV cameras. Later, when we were at a museum for paper-cuts, I was even interviewed for Chinese TV! Although I doubt my stumbling Chinese response to what I thought about the paper-cut out scrolls was aired, it was quiet an experience.
The man throwing the liquid metal on the stage. Beautiful. Right?
The festival as a whole was beautiful, but it was very long, although, the last stop of the day made it worth it. We drove 45 minutes one way to see a performance that ended with the throwing of liquid metal against a wall. Can you even imagine what it was like? I had never even considered that image before I found out where we were going. Supposedly this little town is famous for it. It was pretty incredible. It was like five or more fireworks bursting at the same time in the same location.
Check off the bucket list: being escorted by police cars somewhere (In a good way)