How did this happen? I thought to myself. Why am I here with all these people looking at me and a director pleading with me like I'm a particularly dim-witted starlet?
Sometimes you can get a taste of what it feels like to be a celebrity just by being a foreigner in China. People stop and stare, some call out "hello," some want to take their picture with you, and some young people are frankly awestruck when you speak to them. But for a few days in early June, we Zibo foreign teachers got to live the lives of TV celebrities.
After filming at the school, it was onto the bus with several local government dignitaries plus a translator plus the television crew. For our first stop, ironically, we went to a cherry orchard in Boshan, in a green valley surrounded by low mountains -- a lot like my Okanagan Valley home. There we picked and sampled the local cherries. Below right is the manager of the orchard -- she had a face like sunshine.
So, I did about three takes in front of the massive statue. I think I managed to say, in Chinese, how much I loved Zibo. As you would have, too, if two dozen of Zibo's finest citizens were smiling at you. I don't know what if anything will be in the finished show. More info about that to come.