March 13, 2004
So, simply put, a really, really long time ago monkeys evolved into humans somewhere in Africa. Then the people walked all over the globe for a long time and, once they found a nice place to live, seemingly stayed mostly put for many hundreds of years. Then, somewhere around the turn of the 16th century, people got in boats, found other people, and were like, "Whoa! Who are you?" They forgot! They forgot about the other people!
So it must have been quite a surprise when Jorge ┴lvares and his crew landed on the shores of Macau in 1513 to find a bunch of smart and civilized people with a different language and culture. It also must have been fairly mind-blowing for the people of Macau to see such different people floating toward them across the water.
I spent the morning at the Museum of Macau by myself, and I actually read all of the plaques on the wall and all of the artifact descriptions. I felt like such a big kid. I didn't get bored and I didn't even get museum-legs. After the museum, I found a small clothing store and happily purchased a tee-shirt that reads, "Anna is B.L.U.E. Relax and Leisurely. I chose clothes." Just as Americans wear shirts with Chinese characters (without having a clue of what they say), the Chinese wear shirts with English that is either poorly translated or just looks cool (one shirt I saw read, "SHAJIGNHJAY"). I was laughing so hard in this little store that the saleswoman kept coming over to see if I was all right. I changed into the shirt, and then walked to the Cam§es Garden. Mahjong and Tai Chi were everywhere. It was one of the greenest places I have ever been.
In the afternoon we all headed over to the theater, which is in a building next to the Tower, a 233-meter structure with a restaurant on top. Frogz was renamed Wa Wa Wa Lok Choi Yuen by the festival folks, which literally translates to something along the lines of Frog Puppet Ribbit Mysterious/Interesting Paradise Garden. Or, better put, The Ribbiting Puppet Frog's Interesting Paradisiacal Garden. The name is also a pun, as the first three words are homonyms (words that are spelled differently, but are pronounced the same), so when you hear the title out loud, the first bit just sounds like a bunch of ribbits.
The show went well tonight. There was a sense of stillness that I haven't felt in our last few performances. The audience was a bit polite and modest, but we still managed to get them to laugh. They applauded heartily at the end, and I was once again amazed at how this show so completely transcends language and culture barriers. After the performance we all went out to eat and be silly. It was well past my bedtime, though, so I curled up on the restaurant booth and fell asleep. It took a Herculean effort to get home and put myself to bed.
All of the Macau photos featured on this site were taken by a team of wiley photographers. Their names are: Rex Jantze, Sam Kusnetz, Jeff Simmons, and Danielle Vermette. And me too.