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Published: March 20th 2019
The only reason we were in Hong Kong, instead of ending our tour the day before, was that we would be performing with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong (or CCOHK for short). After breakfast on my 21st day of the tour, we took a ferry to an island where we did some sightseeing and had lunch. We then went to the Hong Kong City Concert Hall, where we would be rehearsing and performing with the CCOHK. We had a four-hour rehearsal in which we went over the Michael Haydn Mass. We slowly went through each movement of the mass to see what it would sound like with the orchestra. We also went through the other pieces we would be performing with the orchestra. Finally, the rehearsal was over, and it was time to have dinner. Our tour manager had ordered sandwiches from a nearby restaurant, and we ate them on the pier. The view of the boats and the rest of the city was beautiful, but I didn’t have too much time to enjoy it. For the first time in a long time, we had an open rehearsal. For those that don’t know what that is, an open rehearsal is basically when people are too cheap to pay for concert tickets to listen to us sing. I’m kidding. It’s when we rehearse while people from the area watch us. I went into it excited, but that quickly changed. It was quite annoying to hear the constant “click click” of pictures and the continuous talking coming from the crowd. A full two hours of this wasn’t great. We accomplished what we wanted to, but it was done in a terrible way. Back at the hotel, I did some work because I was falling behind, and then I brought my tour journal up to date. I was asleep by 11.
On day 22, there wasn’t much else other than rehearsing for a long time and perform. After breakfast, we headed over to the Hong Kong City Concert Hall. Once there, we rehearsed for about three hours. We then had a full two and a half hours before the concert. During that time, we had lunch, I read books, and I got into trouble while messing around with friends. If there’s anything I miss about the American Boychoir School, it’s the friends I made. My best friend, Gabe, and I used to hang out an do so much together. He was a boarding student, and I was not. When the school closed, Gabe had to go back home to Calgary, Canada. After a tremendous wait, it was finally time for the concert. In the first half, we sang the Haydn Mass. In the second half, we sang something called the George Gershwin Medley. If you can’t tell, it’s a medley of George Gershwin’s songs. We also sang a French piece called Litanies. A while later, we headed back to the hotel, had dinner, and had some free time. I slept at around 10:30.
My 23rd day in China was our last full day on tour. It was my last day in China. After eating breakfast, we went back to our separate rooms and prepared our concert clothes. We made sure what we were wearing was clean, and then we ironed the clothes. We were given some free time before we had to leave for the concert hall. Once there, we warmed up our voices, and I prepared myself for my last concert in China. We sang our regular program with a few changes made to accommodate the CCOHK. After the concert, we went out to the pier again. This time, we walked around more and then we went on the observation wheel. We saw the city light up, and it was amazing to finish my last full day in Hong Kong. We then went to a nearby restaurant for dinner. I should mention what my food situation looked like the whole time I was in China. As a vegetarian, I wasn’t expecting there to be many options for food for me. Turns out, I overestimated the amount of food I would get. For almost every single lunch and dinner, I had a disgusting, tasteless salad because there wasn’t anything I could eat. On rare occasions, I would get real food, and the night of the seventh was not one of them. After unhappily swallowing down my salad, I washed it down with some Cream Soda, the only good part of the meal. Back at the hotel, we had to pack all our luggage one last time. The next day, I would be on the flight home.
Hong Kong > Newark
I had mixed feelings about leaving China. It had been really fun, but I couldn’t wait to see my family again. I don’t remember the part before I stepped onto the plane that would take me home. It had all been a blur. I didn’t use the 15-hour flight as well as I could I have. I was supposed to get work done, but I didn’t really care about that. I found watching the first four Harry Potter moves to be a much better use of my time. For the rest of the flight, I read a book and slept. Before we landed in the oh-so-familiar Newark Airport, I pulled up my window and saw a sight I hadn’t seen for an entire month: a clear blue sky. It wasn’t much, but I finally had the realization that I was home, and it made me extremely happy. The bus ride back to campus was fun. All of us talked, joked, and got excited to see our parents. Because it was my job to unload the luggage before the other kids got off, I got to my parents before anyone else did. I couldn't believe that for the past month, I had been living on the other side of the world. No matter how fun it was, noting matched seeing my mom, dad, and brother again. The crappy meals I had in China were the last thing on my mind. I was finally home.
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