Our last day in Holland we all were working like mad on our final project/performance. During the entire day we would have moments of coming out of the dark shadow puppetry studio to watch the epic game of Holland against Brazil. Spica and I would take walks down the cobblestone streets and we would hear random shouts and horns coming from pubs. "Could it be?" I thought. "Is Holland beating Brazil? The epic team?" All of the other classmates would make fun of me a little bit. How is it that an artist could be so interested in sports? I guess those are the benefits of growing up in a small town. You have a tendency to do everything.
I was sure that Brazil would beat Holland no problem. They were bound for victory, but Holland, the tiny country held their own. Pretty soon it was clear when the score was 2-1 that Holland had it in the bag. People starting running from their TV screens into the streets and started yelling, dancing and parading their orange flags. The street was one big river of orange. Horns were being honked and people would pass in their cars and motorcycles chanting words in Dutch. What a victory. I was happy for Holland, and so excited to feel like I had witnessed their victory. Maybe they will win the world cup? Who knows. We have a little ways to go!
The last night of performances went really well. Spica and I worked until the very last moment and pulled together a very nice 6 min. piece dedicated to the beloved town where we had lived for the past two weeks. Spica and I must have similar energy because we were able to pull off a 6 min shadow puppetry performance in only a day. It is so energizing to work with someone where there is such a creative flow!
It was difficult to say goodbye to all the puppeteers from whom I had learned so much. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking and drinking wine. I think the most painful goodbye was to my Taiwanese companions. I had experienced so much generosity on this trip. Jaed, Fa, Mai, Zchu, Spica and John had now become my family. I will miss learning Chinese, I think I learned more Chinese than Dutch, and singing, dancing and laughing constantly. It is amazing, even though one can't always understand what the other was saying, their smile and warm spirit gave it all away. One can have so much fun without even saying anything at all. I think my companions called that Ashi. Whenever we would do something at the same time, or have a fun exciting moment they would all yell...ASHI! So from now on, when I have a magical moment with someone else I will yell ASHI! This experience in Holland was definitely ASHI to the max!