So the FCP artists are now housed in the Hotel Miramar - except for the Singaporeans, who are very comfortably in our homes and preparing for our teaching schedules.
The journey home wasn't entirely without incident. First, the bus from Sedona was late getting to Mandalay Hill Resort, which frazzled our dear Project Manager Cody:
He regaled us on the bus about his epic journey last night, attempting to walk the moat-long highway between the hotels just to deliver his personalised notes to the artists. Poor boy couldn't find a motorbike taxi until he was about halfway through: he pleaded the guy to wait for him 15 minutes downstairs while he finished distributing the notes, and he made it down in 20. First time Cody's ever witnessed the Burmese to be so hung up about punctuality.
Goodbyes at the airport! Still don't know for sure if the folks who travelled via Yangon made it safely.
As for those of us travelling via Bangkok, we rushed over to do further shopping. Here, Kaffe is investigating the tonal properties of the ubiquitous Burmese xylophone:
And here she is looking serene on the runway, plucking at the violin an old man gave her in Moulmein. This time, her moment of bliss comes from the fact that the passport control officer told her she looked like Aung San Suu Kyi's daughter. (Even invited her back behind the counter to compare photos!)
Considerably less bliss in Bangkok: though we had a three-hour layover in Don Meaung, AirAsia can't check us through automatically. This meant that Cody (from China) and Mriganka and Sonal (from India) had to line up and pay for visas on arrival, and then we had to line up to check in our mountain of luggage all over again:
And unlike in Mandalay, the hard-assed counter staff wouldn't let us do group check-in. The best we could do was couples, which meant we had to do mucho repacking (all that souvenir shopping had weighed the artists down, while some of us like me and Joshua had packed super-light).
Even after all those efforts, poor Julie (pictured on the left) had to pay approx US$100 for 5kg of overweight baggage. It's mostly materials for her honey performance on Friday night - please come catch it!
Then we got past immigration, and lo and behold - Don Meaung Airport does not provide Thai food OR Thai massages past the immigration gate! Only in the airport's exterior section. How much sense does that make? We were all very cross.
Until we chowed down on Japanese food as a substitute, anyway. We're flexible like that.
Once we touched down in Singapore we were greeted by an irrepressibly upbeat piece of in-flight muzak. Amazingly, Kaffe loved it - a signal we were in a different kind of Asia now, unapologetically urban and optimistic in its utopian development.
Let's see what they all say when they realise how much stuff costs here. Brrrr.
They'll be meeting at TheatreWorks tomorrow afternoon - and I'm not joining them. Will see you at the opening, however, tomorrow at 7:30pm
. Talks by Ju, Shanaanthan and Anomaa. I'll be documenting!