Central America Concert Tour-from Mexico 10/2/10

October 3, 2010


I had 2 concerts in this country, one in Mexico City and the other one in Puebla which is 2 hours from Mexico City by car. It is interesting to think that California is next to Mexico so it is like neighborhood, but Mexico City is so far away and entirely a different place!Puebla is a charming town with deep cultural and historical background. I really enjoyed walking around Centro in Puebla before the concert. I am in Mexico City Airport waiting to go home!

Mexico City is about 2000m high so we feel very different, like the boiling water does not reach to 100 degree, huge temperature difference between night and day, we get easily out-of-breath when we go up stairs fast–. 2 concerts were organized by the Japan Foundation, Mexico Office, and held at the concert halls in the universities. I enjoyed the audience in Puebla a lot! They were very enthusiastic and gave me wonderful comments. I suppose it applies to any big city. Mexico City audience was little bit more distant. For instance Tokyo audience is very very polite, but distant as well. But I am not complaining at all! I feel very fortunate to have these opportunities to visit different countries and to perform. And most often people give me wonderful comments on my recitals. It is very rewarding, and I feel great to communicate with people through music. The theme for this tour was “East meets West” , and I am hoping to continue this mission to visit more countries. My Spanish was good enough to speak to the audience! I think it makes a huge difference to speak their own language or not. And I enjoy studying Spanish anyway! Also I chose to play well known tunes (arranged on piano myself if it was needed!) from each country for the encores, and it was big hit!

In Mexico City I had few hours free here and there so I did some sightseeing too. The highlight was to visit the House of Frida Kahlo, Casa Azul. It was my “Dream Come True” moment because I have been reading about her and seeing her works for many years and most importantly I love her works. I was touched so much when I walked through her house. The house itself is an art! And seeing her works and photos in her house was so moving. Frida and Diego are very special people to all of us, and we will remember them forever. As you know she suffered so much through her life, and worked for hours in bed. Meeting her bed was something I never forget. It is situated where she could see the garden and could feel the outside air when the door was open.

In another free time I did some walking sightseeing by myself. I chose to visit Chapultepec Castle and the Modern Art Museum. It looked them close enough to my hotel in the vague map I got, but they were very far away. I trusted my direction instinct to find them! On the way I had to cross so many streets, and sometimes I felt talking a big risk! It was not instructed by the traffic lights or the police officers. The police officers guide the traffic, but they don’t help pedestrians! Fortunately I safely arrived the museum! I asked several people on the way to the museum, but I felt everybody telling their own opinion! The museum was very nice after the adventure, quiet and pretty. After the museum I needed to find the castle. The castle is situated in the hill, and I have to confess I was out of breath during my climb. But it was worth going because the architect was gorgeous, and the exhibitions were interesting. Most of rooms are open to the public to see closely so we could feel the lives of kings and queens. The biggest adventure was on the way back to my hotel. Again my artistic map did not tell me clearly so I asked the guard at the castle. He was proud to give me the direction, but I missed the point of crossing the big street. So I was lost in Mexico City! Finally I asked the police officer for the direction to Zona Rosa where my hotel was. He asked me if I was alone. Of course I said yes. It seemed he was concerned. He offered me a ride to the hotel. Of course I was not sure I should take his offer or not, but I felt I did not have choice! Al least I was happy to use my very basic Spanish to communicate to him. After the ride I was back to Zona Rosa safely. My adventure was done, and I was exhausted, as you imagine!

My tour is almost over. I kept my health, I did not have any delay of flights and all of concerts and master class did not happen on stormy or rainy days (even though there were big rains in Central America during my stay). I feel very lucky! The make-up lessons are waiting for me for next 2 days at Occidental College. I will sleep well tonight, and get ready for the new day!





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