What I’ll Miss About Australia
I’m typing this while sitting at Gate 25 at Sydney Airport, ready to board our flight to Taiwan. We here at Shen Yun World Company just finished 32 shows Down Under, spending over six weeks on the island continent. We soaked up lots of sunshine and the very peculiar sound of Australian applause (I will get to that).
And so, here’s a list, in no particular order, of the things I will miss about Australia, and a few that are… not to be missed.
Will miss: Being able to cook and do laundry in our own apartments.
Will miss: The view from the tallest hotel tower overlooking the Gold Coast.
Will miss: Biking along Swan River to King’s Park, and the free buses that run through Perth. One of our best break days on tour!
Will not miss: Climbing on top of a sink to quick-change on a shoulder-high ledge in Perth’s Regal Theatre, while avoiding lights at head-level. By the ninth show, though, it had become so natural that quick-changing was a breeze.
Will miss: The old trams that run through Melbourne’s chic city center—a strange but harmonious clash of old and new.
Will not miss: Annoying magpies outside hotels that always, ALWAYS manage to wake me up before my alarm.
Will miss: How everyone wears slippers and shorts on the street.
Will miss: The pedestrian crossing button that goes “Jooo – dagadagadagadagadaga…” (you know it if you’ve heard it)
Will not miss: Adelaide having a time zone change of half an hour… threw us off a few times.
Will miss: All the British names! Perth, Melbourne, Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, Mary Street, and come on, Queensland? Lots of respect for the crown. Brisbane’s Southbank reminds me so much of London’s Southbank, especially with the giant Ferris wheel. Being a Brit, I must say, this feels almost like England—with good weather.
Will miss: Along the same lines, being finally able to use the terms “rubbish bin,” “lift,” and “chips” without feeling misunderstood. Still can’t get used to “tomato sauce,” though.
Will not miss: You can never predict which way a fridge door opens.
Will miss: Australian dairy—the best!
Will miss: Bubble tea—and before you say, “Wait, aren’t you guys going to Taiwan next?” I must add that its’ made with Australian milk.
Will not miss: A rowdy stomach yesterday from all the Australian milk I found difficult to part with.
Will miss: Australia beef! Biting into a MegaMac, I thought I was biting into steak.
Will miss: Super clean airports!
Will miss: Performing to full houses officially sold out at 101% at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.
Will miss: The noise produced by Aussie audience members who love a good laugh during our more humorous pieces. It’s a very unique sound, different from that of ultra-reserved Japanese audiences who cover their mouths to snigger, and different from the impassioned Korean audiences who clap to the beat of the music. The Aussie laughter is more of a hearty cackle, especially after I slap the Red Guard in the face.
Will not miss: Leeshai Lemish, our MC, will definitely not miss driving the prop truck 36 hours through the Australian desert narrowly missing—and sometimes failing to miss—wayward kangaroos on the highway, while the rest of the company flew.
Will miss: The audience member in the first row at Gold Coast, who jumped out of her seat during curtain call, pressed her hands together in front of her chest in heshi (although she was not Asian), and repeatedly mouthed: “thank you so much,” with an unmistakable sparkle in her eyes. It was just as touching for me. An audience’s smile makes everything worthwhile. (hey that rhymes!)
Will miss: The local organizers who did an amazing job looking after us! Costume ladies, stage production crew, food team... and those who put in so much hard work in promotion and security but whose names are still unknown to us. Our volunteer bus drivers sometimes would shuttle us around up to six times a day between the hotel, theater, sightseeing, and food. No word of complaint, just a big smile all day long.
Thank you to Australian Falun Dafa Association. We couldn’t have done any of this without you. And thank you Australia for giving us a tour that was no winter and all sunshine. Taiwan here we come!
March 20, 2016