This was neither exactly a full work trip for me, nor a leisure trip. It's somewhere in between. My presence was needed to increase the group luggage allowance and as an extra pair of hands. And in the event that we need to verbally spar with humans, I could probably argue fluently in the language like a local till my face turns purple. :P
I don't have any useful contributions to their music or the intricacies of organizing the shows, or help out with equipment/technical needs. I could make comfortable arrangements to feed the friends, fetch them around via Uber or private hires, and translate/interpret for them, et cetera. You can generically term this job, a 'minder'. Very different from what a band's tour manager does, and said manager would clearly be kept crazy busy on a tour. I might well be the least stressed person on this trip.
The biggest reason why I can travel with this group in these circumstances is because we've all got a job to do. When a trip isn't purely a leisure trip, it's never about us, and it's always about end goals. Mainly because most of the group know how OCD I am, and on trips of this nature, it's perfect because I can be OCD for all I want, freeing them up to pay attention to what's most important- getting their music right. Those who aren't familiar with my OCD-ness probably got a rude shock. Hahahahah! #SorryNotSorry
For the friends, it's their first proper visit to the country; day trips to Macau, Guangdong, Shenzhen aren't counted. The friends gained so many fresh insights about playing gigs in China and how its crew and backline at the venues might actually be stronger and better than what Singapore venues offer. They definitely had a full introduction to the food and different types of accommodation and learnt what they can deal with and how to go about doing that. We came across rude pricks, the nice humans, the weird ones and the fab ones. I say 'they' because I'm already China-trained. Hahahahah! All in all, it has been a good trip to Shenzhen and Shanghai. No one fell ill or had any injury or horrid experiences. Even as I type out this post, Super Typhoon Megi has hit Taiwan bad and is headed towards Guangdong and Fujian provinces; the region's third typhoon in two weeks. And I think Tropical Storm Chaba is...becoming a typhoon by the weekend. Haizzz. Thank God for journey mercies.
|Here's a gratuitous shot of the accessories that followed me on the trip. Minimal.|