Saturday, May 31

Sleepless City: Shanghai 2012


A part of the Indonesian delegates

On 2012, I went on a cultural trip by myself to China and Japan. Well, not entirely by myself, but I was with a team. The thing was that I didn't know the team that much because I've only know them a month before we had to leave Jakarta, so it was pretty scary. Our cultural trip was to perform at the Shanghai Tourism Festival 2012, and to perform at an Indonesian exhibition. We stayed in China for 5 days, and it didn't seem enough (duh). I didn't go to IKEA, which saddens me, and I wish I could've visit Beijing as well, because that's where the history lies upon. But either way, I am happy that I went on this short trip to China and Japan, because both trips opened my mind about civilisation, tourism, and culture.

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my dream store

believe it or not this tastes better than the ones in Indonesia

a part of the Shanghai-nian lifestyle

typical dancers

When we were strolling down the streets and alleys of Shanghai. God I miss this.

For the Shanghai Tourism Festival, we practice for three days in Shanghai, and in that three days, the Indonesian delegates (Kak Tika, Kak Yenny, Kak Angel and I) had to teach (YES TEACH) the Indonesian students who are studying in Shanghai. Because I was teaching, the university students even called me 'kak'! They taught I was in university, when in that case I was only 14! on the D-day, we had to walk for 2.2 km in our costumes and heavy make-up. But it was worth it.

While we were there, because we were a part of the festival, we had a well-planned accommodation and dines from the committee. I'm not sure why, but it's probably because we're Indonesians, we always have lunch at a Bali restaurant. The waiters were very friendly and when we had our costumes on they were like "you look bee-you-ti-ful." 

Sumatran apparel holla nice eyes J

typical dancers

the Jakarta Indonesian delegates (l-r: Kak Tika, Kak Yenny, me & Kak Angel)

Look it's us! source

Balinese apparel makes me happy due to its pattern and colours

Kak Tika dancing by herself

Going through these pictures make me miss China, make me miss going abroad  in general! Going abroad for a cultural mission. I remembered when the Jakarta-Indonesian delegates met the Indonesian students studying in Shanghai delegates, we were so awkward and didn't talk to each other. The students-- they weren't dancers--  which made it hard for us to teach them, so we had to change the dance. Imagine changing the dance when the performance was in three days! Luckily, the students were fast learners, and one of the elder-but-a-jerk instructor from another Indonesian delegate taught them well, and made the sessions fun! We practiced in a public park, and everyone in the park was watching at us. We also practiced in a basement! Those days were fun. I was still a pre-teen back then, and going through exciting events like practicing in a basement excites me.

After the festival finished, we stayed one more day in Shanghai to embrace its beauty and just feel a part of the city. Since we couldn't sleep at the festival's sponsored hotel anymore, we moved to a backpacker hotel which is awesome. It wasn't far from our usual Bali restaurant, and I get to feel like I'm backpacking (except for bringing the huge suitcase and dancing costumes of course).

To this day, I haven't had another extraordinary cultural mission again, due to school. I was actually asked to go to Milan by the person who asked me to go to Shanghai & Tokyo on May, but I couldn't go because of, again, school. I am hoping that some day I will go abroad for a cultural mission again, and maybe (if I'm lucky), I get to have this dancing-abroad life as my profession as an adult.

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