Fourth concert MUDANJIANG

Three hours’ drive from Harbin, again on a new highway

We stop on the way for lunch at a “simple” country restaurant. This must be a special place, judging by the luxurious cars parked in front of it. Surprise. The vegetables that we eat in this restaurant are unknown even to my companion, Rebecca. It was all supposed to be very good for our sleep and our health and, on top of it, it was delicious.

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Mudanjiang has some magical influence; it has something to do with the mountains and the surrounding lake. A lot of people apparently come here on pilgrimages.

In China, they do not serve rice wit the various dishes, unless you ask for it. Serving rice would be a sign that you are not wealthy. But of course there is rice and rice. The famous rice of Mudanjiang is grown in a special climate, at a very high altitude, and would be fed with crystal-clear water from the mountains. It is a real “delicacy”.

By now I have absorbed the Chinese culinary culture perfectly (much easier than Chinese opera…). Its variety, imaginativeness, fresh ingredients and the way they share their meals has completely seduced me.

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Concert at the university (20,000 students!) concert hall

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Of course the fourth young lady in a wedding dress is here again

Fazioli piano, what a big surprise! The Ferrari of pianos. Of course to be handled only with white gloves. Only one person has the key for the room where the instrument is stored. There is also only one person who is allowed to tune it, he has to come from Beijing. The problem is that the last time he came was six months ago. The piano is completely out off tune, no way to sort it out. A disaster! I feel terribly sorry about the concert and for the audience, should I cancel? I have never backed out of playing before. No one else seemed to care about the problem, so I played. Terribly frustrating, like having a Ferrari without an engine or wheels...


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