Tour of a Lifetime (Creepy Critters and All)

Tina, violinist in the YOSA Philharmonic, will be among the 48 student musicians traveling to China tomorrow for YOSA’s eighth international concert tour. Read what Tina says about what will be a tour of a lifetime.

I am so excited about my upcoming tour to China with YOSA! I am looking forward to experiencing the cultural differences, although a friend of mine who has traveled to Shanghai told me I am likely to get several marriage proposals while I am there… apparently Chinese men think American women are rich? And here I was thinking that China had so much economic influence! According to my friend, when he was in China, men actually waited at restaurant windows to propose to the American girls inside!

This same friend also advised me to taste bizarre foods in China that I would NEVER eat in life. I don’t know what he’s thinking, but I am definitely going to have to reevaluate my outlook on life if I end up ingesting some sort of miscellaneous creepy crawly critter. Not that I don’t like bugs- I just prefer them crawling on the ground where they belong. And all odd animal parts should stay on the animal, if you ask me. I am experiencing some trepidation due to the fact that I have already unwittingly eaten “rocky mountain oysters” in the Chinatown area at NIOSA. (Note- if you do not know what “rocky mountain oysters” are, feel free to Google it, but if you have a weak constitution, I would highly recommend waiting at least an hour after eating and keeping a barf-bag on hand, just in case.) My dad also traveled to China recently and said that there was some type of food there that had such a stench you could smell it from a distance, and that it was the only thing Andrew Zimmern- the Bizarre Foods guy on the Travel Channel- thought was so gross he had to spit it out! I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I’ll have to keep my nose on the alert. Despite the not-so-conventional-American foods I am likely to experience, I am definitely looking forward to eating real Chinese roast duck!

I am especially excited about seeing the Great Wall of China, as well as performing in our multiple concerts with Mr. Peters conducting. Although I absolutely loved our last conductor, Marlon Chen, I have truly enjoyed the year with Mr. Peters and learned to love him as well. I cannot wait to tour to China with our new maestro! I think that this tour will be the musical experience of a lifetime. I am definitely looking forward to playing a concert with the youth musicians in Hong Kong- I’m excited to get to know the musicians, and to see how our common ground in music will bring us all together, despite the fact that we live on opposite sides of the globe and have many cultural differences. This will be my first non-European orchestra tour, and I am so grateful that I was granted the opportunity to participate. I have already started packing (packing is a process!) and purchased a brand new PINK digital camera for the occasion- I want to capture the Great Wall in high definition! The plane rides will be long, the train ride may be bumpy, the bus rides may be boring, and our schedule will be packed, but I know that this will be a life-changing experience that I will never forget!



3 Responses to “Tour of a Lifetime (Creepy Critters and All)”

  1. Judith Behrens Says:

    Hi Tina and fellow YOSA orchestra players!

    We wish you all good health, safety, and fun as you trek and play to China!!

    Aunt Judi and David

  2. Judith Behrens Says:

    Is everybody there yet?? Twittering minds back in the US want to know if everyone is okay!!! :>

  3. Marybelle De Wandler Says:

    I’ve been enjoying reading your comments and seeing the photos that have come through. I have to agree, I don’t think bugs are food, but maybe when that’s all you have, you feel differently about them.

    I know you must be having the time of your life, and I am so glad you were able to participate in this great opportunity! I think of you every day-hard to believe your time there is coming to an end so soon.

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