Audition and recruitment tour in Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing
Sunday, October 16, 2011
We arrived in Singapore on 10/14 around 7pm and checked-in to the Conrad hotel. The Conrad hotel, as almost everything I have seen in Singapore so far, looked brand new and the service was amazing. There were three people to greet us when we stepped out of the taxi, they escorted us to check-in, and then personally showed each of us to our rooms. Singapore is 30 miles from the equator, so the weather is warm and humid. I enjoy this kind of weather, but the sweating can be uncomfortable in dress clothes.
The auditions started the next morning and were some of the strongest of the trip so far. We went from 10am-7pm straight with no breaks, and heard about 30 applicants. The auditions were held at a recital hall within the Yamaha Music Store, which was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. After the auditions, I was able to meet with about 10 applicants who wanted to learn more about Ithaca. Overall, it was a very successful day.
After the auditions were finished, Amy, Shaun, and I ventured to the Mandarin Bay Sands area, which was like Disney World. The MBS is the world's most expensive standalone casino and includes a HUGE, brand new hotel, and dozens of restaurants and high-profile stores (who shops for Lamborghinis?!). We decided to eat at an outdoor bar that was overpriced, but everything seems to be overpriced in Singapore. We did the tourist thing and ordered some Singapore Slings (gin and pineapple juice), which were very tasty but not very strong. There was a laser light show over the harbor when we were eating which was fun.
From there, we tried to get on the Singapore Flyer (gigantic ferris wheel), but we arrived 15 minutes after it closed. We were all quite tired, though, so we decided to call it a night since we have an early flight to Bangkok.
We arrive in Bangkok around noon, and we have been keeping an eye on the flooding. Apparently, they have experienced the worst floods in 50 years and many of the rural villages are severely under water (sounds like September in Upstate New York). Over 300 people have died so far. I read that the minister is assuring everyone that Bangkok will be safe, but it sounds like city residents are piling up sandbags and stocking up on food items just in case. It doesn't sound like the most stable conditions, so this may be an interesting leg of the trip. We were going to visit a rural fishing village during some down time, but I don't think that will be possible any more.
There are only two weeks left before I return home to see my family. I have been Skyping every night before bed which makes the trip much more bearable. My wife has been sending me photos on a daily basis--technology is so wonderful and necessary on a trip like this. I hope everyone back home is doing well. More from Bangkok soon.
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