Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome to Kunming

Nearby lake

A few yards from the hotel is this lake, evidently a popular gathering spot. You can buy little bags of food for feeding the gulls.

The View

Here is the view from our room. Kunming is a big city by our standards-- six million souls. The drive in from the airport took more than thirty minutes, and we passed long stretches of apartment housing.

Kunming at last!

We left Shanghai all stuffed into a tiny taxi the morning of the 29th, bid farewell to Zheng, and flew to Kunming. The weather here is very mild, in the 50 to 70 degree range.
We arrived at the Grand Park Hotel, greeted by enormous "Merry Christmas" signs.

On the street near our hotel

Late in the evening, the street vendors set up their food stands on the sidewalk. This one had 16 or so different foods on a stick, including several meats. Next to this, the proprietor had a home-made cooker, consisting of a tray of hot coals on which he would cook the customer's choice of ka-bobs.

Telling the story

In Beijing, Ellen spoke between pieces. Here in Shanghai, Kristin had to do the talking, as Ellen was losing her voice. Zheng, without whom we would still be sitting at the Beijing airport, translated.

The Shanghai recital

Here are Ellen and Kristin playing the Rebecca Clarke sonata. The acoustics were not too bad for a lecture hall. The piano sounded fine (except for the squeaky damper pedal that developed at the last moment.