I must say it was an amazing weekend. Two and a half days of straight Lindy Hopping with people from all over the world on a tiny resort island in Singapore. The temperature was above 30°C each day, and the humidity was something to be reckoned with. But I didn’t once complain about the heat, cause it was a welcome change from a very cold -6°C Beijing winter. We drank lots of water, and changed our t-shirts regularly, and swam in the pool and the ocean to cool off. Wonderful!
There were 80 to 100 dancers at this camp, with teachers from the US, Sweden, the UK, and Japan. Swing Beijing! was represented by me, Adam and River, John, Steve and Angela, and Hong Ying. Shanghai Swings was represented by Orchid, the two Zee brothers, and a Japanese guy who is just new to Shanghai. It was a great bonding time for all of us from China, and new friendships were formed with everyone else. It gave us a chance to dance with so many people, to experience so many styles. At the party on the last night, I was still dancing with followers that I hadn’t danced with yet. There were that many. It was great! But as I told my girlfriend (who couldn’t come to the camp), all the girls at this camp were really ugly and couldn’t dance very well. It made her happy to hear that. 😉
I didn’t get much of a chance to see Singapore, but I was lucky enough to spend Thursday night with a local family in their home. It was quite a contrast to Beijing. First of all, I couldn’t imagine that they would be living in a house (maybe it was a townhouse) as opposed to an apartment. Singapore is a very small island, but its population isn’t that large (4.6 million, July 2003), so it’s not crowded enough to exclude real houses for some families. I was very impressed.
It’s right-hand drive in Singapore, so all the cars are on the left-hand side of the road. That was something I never got used to, a problem that could lead to a deadly mistake by looking the wrong way while stepping onto the road. It’s a beautiful city with a very organized public transit system. Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed on the roads or on the sidewalks! Where do they go, then? Well, I saw very few bicycles being ridden. So don’t expect me to ever settle in Singapore!
On the resort island, I spent one afternoon looking around. I got to visit Artists Village, which is an art gallery and studio, home to about five resident artists. It wasn’t a well visited attraction of the island, but I enjoyed the peaceful quiet desertion of the gallery. This is one memory I’ll take with me from the weekend that wasn’t related to dancing.
Another good memory is the time I spent with Steve and Angela, since we shared a 3-room hut together. One night after the lights went out, we had a story time, where I got to learn how Steve and Angela met. It’s a good story involving a lost girl, a butcher knife, and a guy lying on the ground bleeding from the head. It ended with Steve and Angela walking the streets of Dalian holding hands. They stopped there, not wanting to share the rest of the details. 🙂 They’re a sweet couple. And unlike some couples while telling a story, they interrupt each other in a good way, adding details instead of fighting about them. They are friends I will keep for a lifetime.
Well, the plane is descending and soon it will be time to pack up my keyboard and put the lunch tray away. Beijing, here I come. I’ll head home, wash, pack for tomorrow’s trip, and then go for dinner with Gulistan before Swing tonight. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that Swing!
Tomorrow I fly to Edmonton. I don’t enjoy the 11-hour flight to Vancouver or the jet lag, but it will be great to see family and friends again.