Sunday, September 11, 2005

The circus is in town

I was so glad it was Friday. Even moreso when Cheryl calls me up and offers her ticket to Cirque du Soleil's Alegria 2 (2nd time it's come to Japan) tomorrow, and after seeing Quidam in Perth recently, how could I refuse!

Then she goes one more step further with, "Have you had dinner or started cooking dinner yet?" With only my half defrosted pork sitting in the sink and vegetables I had just taken out of the fridge before the phone rang, and it being a Friday night, the answer was a clear "no". So it was off to the local Korean restaurant for some cheap but very delicious delights.

I'd never been to the place before but always pass by if I decide to walk home from school. Cheryl has been there about 2 times in the last week or so and swears by the corn tea. It was indeed very refreshing and tasted like popcorn. I had the bi bim bap set (so filling and tasty with so many side dishes!) She had the Tsu chi mi (?) the korean pancake. Dessert was a new Kit Kat flavour (green tea and adzuki beans/icekachang) Cheryl had bought from the local 7-eleven.

On Saturday morning I met up with Felicity and we headed to Osaka together. After a little bit of shopping and lunch, we headed to the big top. Again, Cirque du Soleil was amazing and breathtaking. From the trampoline performances, fire twirlers, trapeze artists to the clowns, contortionists, tightrope walker and guy-on-the-elastic-rope-thing. Simply captivating.

It was quite interesting to see how the Japanese culture and audience would react to such a thing. Apparently they're not that big on the clapping but in our show, it was pretty normal. The main difference was the gasps and verbal sucking-in-of-breath "sugoiiii!" and "heiiiii?!?!" that tightened the audience together for a split second, like a chorus right on cue.

At the end of the show, people also gave the performers little bouquets of flowers (sold at the gift shop during intermission, ofcourse). During the intermission the crowds would swarm the gift shops for omiyage and lunch on o-bentos, hot chips and sandwiches.

I was quite eager to see how the whole 'pick someone from the audience to play along' would work in Japan. Surprisingly, the 2 guys they picked were good sports and did play along. We just couldn't imagine a shy Japanese girl being dragged up on stage in front of a huge crowd at the risk of embarrassing herself. But I'm sure they change a bit to adjust to each country and culture. For example, the clowns would randomly burst into little bits Japanese and the audience loved it. Even the little boy at the beginning gave instructions to turn off mobile phones etc.. in Japanese. But with his French (?) accent we couldn't even understand his Japanese but it was cute nonetheless.

Felicity's eyes are closed - Sorry! but it's the only photo I took before being told photos weren't even allowed during intermission, outside! And she's a lot taller but so kind enough to make me look not as short.

Afterwards we headed to Green Earth. A very nice and cosy vegetarian place recommended by Cheryl via the local mag, Kansai Scene. After trying the eggplant curry with nan and mango lassi, I'll definately be back for more.


At 10:06 pm, Anonymous Natalie said...

All i can say is .. Cirque du soleil TWICE???? LUCKY GIRL!!!!! Was really nice to see ya back in Perth and I'm glad you've had a good start to your 2nd yr back in Nippon!

Take care of yourself - keep us posted!

Nat xxx


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