The Chinese operetta (by Jonah)

Our English speaking Chinese friend had these tickets to a Chinese Operetta, but she was busy that day, so she gave them to us. My mom said it was in a part of campus we haven’t been in before, so she said we might not be able to find it. But our English speaking friend pointed in a direction in a different part of the campus and said it was a really old and beautiful part of the campus and had two really old red roofs. But by the time we thought we saw where it was, we showed the tickets to a random Chinese person on the streets, and he pointed to a building we were right by. So, we went in there and sat down in our seats. We thought we were in a big hurry, but we weren’t. We thought it started at seven, but it started at seven thirty.

Our seats were high up, but they were centered perfectly. Then an English speaking Chinese person who works there said that we should move to V.I.P. seats instead, which I thought was weird because we were not V.I.P.’s but I guess it was O.K. because I knew she worked there, because she was wearing a badge which all the other workers were wearing. It was centered perfectly, and it was on the third row! But then these older people came and made us leave, so we went back to our old seats. The workers were there wondering why we weren’t in our V.I.P. seats. Then we told them that the older people came and told us to leave, so they led us to front row V.I.P. seats! So then that’s where we ended up sitting. I thought it was kind of weird but I guess they would automatically give V.I.P. to westerners since we were the only westerners in the whole entire hall. And TRUST me. It was PACKED with people. So then, we realized that the people sitting next to us did NOT look like V.I.P.’s. I thought they were mainly people who had some connections with one of the actors or directors.

The stage had just seats and desks with name tags on it (written in Chinese characters of course), and it started with people in suits sitting down. These guys with cameras kept getting in front of us and then moving out of the way. Every once and a while this guy would shine a light on us or take a picture of us. Only two guys in the middle had microphones, in which they said the names of the other guys sitting down, and the other guys would stand up and the audience would clap. But then these ladies in identical suits came along with music playing in the background and gave the guys in suits this pile of fancy boxes wrapped in a ribbon, and then the ladies would go off stage and these COMPLETELY random people would come along. And trust me. They were completely random. They had like dyed hair and baggy shirts. The guys in suits would stand up and give the completely random people the boxes with ribbons wrapped around it, and then they would turn around and everybody would clap. And trust me. The completely random people wouldn’t even smile, but they WOULD do a small bow. Then, one of the guys in the middle made this extremely long speech, and everybody in the audience would start talking, and talking, and nobody actually paid any attention to whatever the heck he was saying. And we couldn’t even UNDERSTAND what he was saying because it was all in Chinese. Even the other people on stage were thumbing through these books and even THEY weren’t paying any attention to what he was saying. And then the women in fancy suits with the same music playing in the background came again and gave the guys in suits these giant awards and then they gave them to these other completely random people they would turn around and the audience would clap, they would do a small bow—exactly the same.

Then, the operetta started. The play was supposed to take place in the late nineteenth century. It started out with this lady dressed up really fancy, this old man with a long beard and these ladies holding puppets. Then these ladies on the side would do this dance where they pretend to be puppets on strings. My mom read online later on that that dance was a special dance to Fujian province (the province we are located in in China), and it was originally from old Operas in Fujian province, China. Then the old man with a beard’s stick that he would always carry around with a cloth on the top with Chinese charecters broke so he fell to the ground. The dressed up women were talking in Chinese how to fix it, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying, and neither could my mom. Then she would say stuff and everybody in the audience laughed, but we didn’t. But I thought it was a little funny how everybody laughed, but we couldn’t understand what they were saying. Then, the next scene was where this guy came along and sang this long song in Chinese which seemed to me a little more middle-Eastern than Chinese. Every time people are walking, then they made these click-clack noises, and when something silly happened then it went ‘DUIN!’ Then the middle-eastern looking guy ran into this girl who was at the beginning and they were riding around on each other in this weird way. Then the dressed up lady ran into the police where they had this really long conversation, and then they brought out their big and fat policeman with a mustache and they kept taking, when the dressed up lady got a hold of the policeman’s gun, and then everybody was scared of her all of a sudden. So the dressed up lady and the old man in the beard (who was all of a sudden fine) were in prison, and the police guard was drunk, so they got a hold of his key! So then the old man with the beard and the dressed up lady were free and the police were looking for them. Every once and a while the two girls with the puppets would show up and talk to each other using the puppets on strings. So the police were trying to find the dressed up lady and the old man with the beard. The dressed up lady and the old man with the beard knew that the police were coming, so the old man with the beard hid and the dressed up lady put on a Buddhist cape and got in a praying position and pretended to be a Buddhist statue. So, when the police came along past her, they looked at her and he was stupid enough to not figure out that that was the person they were chasing the whole entire time. Then, when the police men looked away, she stole one of the policeman’s stick and when the policeman turned around she set it on her arm holes and was back in her praying position, but the policemen didn’t notice. So, they kept searching. Then, the middle-eastern looking guy and the girl at the beginning were still riding on each other in a weird way back to where this was going on, so they got rid of the middle-eastern looking guy because he was trying to kidnap her and they were all fine!

P.S.: That’s just really what we THINK the plot was.


About The neurodiversifier

I am an ADHD poet/professor from a neurodiverse family.
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One Response to The Chinese operetta (by Jonah)

  1. Mr. Luft says:

    Jonah – Thanks for your description of this very unique event. You are very fortunate to experience this special Chinese culture. Your writing is developing wonderfully. I hope you will write even more about your experiences in China. It is all so interesting.

    We are in the last week before spring break. Tomorrow is the volleyball game between the staff and the 8th grade students. We are still having snow in Wisconsin and the weather has been cold and miserable. Daffodils and Tulips are beginning to poke through, and you can see the grass beginning to turn green. A few brave robins have returned from the south.

    Thanks again for sharing. We love the pictures, too.- Mr. Luft

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