Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Act 1, Scene 1

Introductions, meetings, a party... Meet Patrick, the no.2 here, the arts team and then off to the Ministry of Culture, followed by a team lunch and then - groundhog day - another meeting at the MoC 'though with different people in a different room but with the same furniture and same boiling hot green tea. Formal protocol but actually actually it's more relaxed than I was expecting. No-one wears suits or ties due to the summer heat and civil servants are not allowed to have the aircon cooler than 27 degrees.

There's a party in a trendy bar to say goodbye to Neil and hello to me. I am introduced to about 50 arts contacts, mainly Chinese but also a smattering of expats and British Embassy people. A nice bunch: young, enthusuastic, internationally-minded and all speaking good English. For some reason I end up teaching a 10 year old boy - the son of one of the guests - how to play pool before a few of us adjourn to another bar on the appropriately named and reassuringly lively Bar Street.

Feeling my way into this new life...

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