Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Fantastic and Amazing (and yes, Long Overdue) Choir Tour Blog Post!

Hey, readers.

Well, I've been gone for a week, I wrote three reviews, came down with a pretty serious head cold (which is still having its wholly unromantic way with me with a nasty chest cough), and I hunted for some jobs, but now it's finally time for the descriptions of my travels in British Columbia with my university's Mixed Chorus.

For my newer readers who are unfamiliar, I'm a member of my (former) University's Mixed Chorus, and I couldn't ask for a greater group of (musical) friends. We have two concerts each year (a Christmas concert and a Spring Concert), and we always follow that up with a week-long tour where roughly half of us go on the road and sing in various small towns. It's always lots of fun and full of running jokes and gags, and it's always the highlight of my time spent with the choir. Feel free to catch up the posts of my last two tours.

Anyway, I entered this third tour with a different mindset. With my first tour, I had no idea what to expect and I was completely blown away by all the games, traditions, and shenanigans that went along with all the singing. My second tour, I was so crazy excited thanks to my first experience that I exhausted myself trying to be constantly social and got tired and depressed halfway through. While I obviously did recover and still had a great time, I did regret the time I spent wishing tour was over so I could sleep, so I made a promise to be Positive - Positive - Positive this time around with No Complaining (yeah, that didn't work, but it did help).

Day 1 - Pajama Day! Our City to Golden, British Columbia
This year, I decided to be on Moving Crew - something I'd never volunteered for before (we need Moving Crews for all of our concerts, not just Tours, to move our risers and equipment from the University to wherever we're performing), so this meant I had to get to the University an hour earlier. We already had to leave early (8 am) because the drive to Golden was to be the longest of Tour - a whopping seven hours. We even had to have an extra rehearsal the day before because we would have no time to rehearse in Golden by the time we arrived.

Anyway, I managed to get there on time because I went to our Choir's Social Convener's house for a Tour kick-off party and sleepover. Ironically, I got less sleep during that party than any night during tour. I dragged my huge-ass luggage onto a public bus and shot straight to the university and helped move stuff - stuff that was heavy. What can I say? I have weak arms and a low pain threshold and there was lots to be moved, but I managed.

Once everything was packed, we gathered in the circle for the Hora (a circle dance we do every time before we take off for another location, for luck) and realized we were missing a person. Tour organizers had made it very, very clear we couldn't wait for anyone once it was 8:00 am (especially since all choir people were supposed to be at the University by 7:30). Turns out someone forgot to set their alarm and their promised ride was asleep - but thankfully the choir people are all wimps and we waited for him to arrive anyway, ha.

Then it was off to Golden! I got on the bus that was later dubbed the Disco Stick (after Lady Gaga's song "LoveGame") and the other bus was named She-Rah, Bus of Power. I made sure to talk to people and not just read - I was as determined as last year to be social and not stay in my comfortable shell of reading or watching movies by myself. At the same time, I also planned to accept the times when I'm going to be by myself (at times where there are other conversations I just can't join or everyone is asleep or doing their own thing) and to accept that it's okay to be alone sometimes and that it doesn't mean I'm reverting to being a hermit (this was a huge fear last tour and made me quite sad). I learned how to play Hearts with some of the guys and went from Worst to Second-Worst at it.

More than one guy turned out to have packed reading or game materials decorated with photos of scantily-dressed woman ("scantily" meaning - a star was thoughtfully placed over certain body parts), which caused no end of discussion, and another member's DVD collection was deemed to be pornographic (as a joke - with the example of The Virgin Suicides - "Its about virgins," said one Bell Ringer. "Hot.").

We took a lunch break in Calgary, which was a lucky thing since I ate my pre-packed bagged lunch for breakfast since the host of the Tour Kick-Off Party didn't have anything in his house (to be fair, what food would you buy right before you're going to be gone for a week?). And then it was off again! The social conveners assigned all the Secret Pals, and I discovered my Secret Pal was the same person who'd had me as a Secret Pal on my first Tour. To newer readers, every Tour people are assigned Secret Pals - other people in choir that you have to give funny tasks to, in return for little presents and clues as to who you really are. It helps people socialize and get to know other people in choir.

By the time we reached Golden, British Columbia, I wasn't feeling too well thanks to a convergence of bad luck, chief among them a huge headache (I'd have to learn to get over this, since I'd have a huge headache nearly every day of Tour), so I wasn't much up for exploring Golden, which turned out to be a mistake because it's a beautiful town. Like so many small towns seem to do, it had a specialty candy store (curse my nut allergy!), and also a tiny bookstore and theatre (which already puts it miles ahead of Three Hills, Alberta), and even feeling sick I was drawn in to the romantic small town idea. I'd love to live in Golden - it's like a jewelbox situated smack in the middle of a valley surrounded on all sides by mountains, and gets lots of tourists who come in for skiing at Kicking Horse.

The people in Golden were so nice - they even commissioned a cake that had an edible photo of us on it! During dinner, two choristers already had Secret Pal tasks to perform - one recited a poem about their socks and the other showed the choir how to eat an onion. The performance went well, although we didn't have a room to stay in during intermission so we stayed outside, which was pretty chilly in velvet dresses and high heeled shoes.

After the performance came the billets. Billets were always a stressful worry for me on my last two Tours - I like meeting new people under certain conditions, but sleeping in a strange person's house and using their bathroom always seemed squicky to me and there was always the threat of nut allergies. However, I lucked out this tour. In Golden, we had a cheerful elementary school teacher with a huge house high up on a hill with a gorgeous view. Thanks to a miscommunication she didn't know about my nut allergy beforehand, but since she was celiac and had a godson with a nut allergy she knew how to deal with allergies. I showered in the evening and had a good night's sleep.

Day 2 - Golden to Kamloops
My billet partner and I (and two other choristers who billeted with us) woke up to my favourite breakfast food of all time - waffles (gluten-free waffles, but still delicious waffles) and strawberries. Yum! Truly, our billet was very nice and helpful - she even gave us some extra gluten-free food for a chorister's celiac boyfriend who'd had to stay at a hotel where the breakfast was bagels, cereal, and toast. Usually billets give us a bagged lunch, but we learned beforehand this one couldn't because as a celiac she wasn't sure she could give us a good lunch.

We arrived at the elementary school in Golden to pack our stuff into the busses. I discovered some of the choristers who couldn't find billets had stayed in the hotel (such as the Celiac Boyfriend). One of them had forgotten his suitcase - no, wait - he'd looked at the suitcases unpacked from under the bus last night and said his wasn't there.

Turns out it was, and the Tour Managers had had to drag it along with them (not fun). In retribution they covered the suitcase with ducttape with a special message written from the suitcase to the Forgetful Owner (ex: "WHY DID YOU SHUN ME?? I LOVE YOU!!") on it, and with the Forgetful Owner's name written on it in big colourful letters.

Meanwhile, I received a Secret Pal task to say "I've always wanted to be a pool boy" to as many people as I could (six of them would turn out to have a puzzle piece I could use to complete my puzzle). I got a lot of strange looks completing this task, but really - people on Tour should expect people to say weird things. I also gave my Secret Pal his first task - to make some glow-in-dark jewellery from the kit I sent him in return for a clue.

We then had a hora, where many people did their new Secret Pal tasks. My billet partner and friend gave her Secret Pal a little book called "My Pretty Kitten," with a message explaining he had to read it. Without her knowledge, he changed one word in his reading of the story. Guess which one. I'd thought my Billet Partner was pretty diabolical until she revealed her Secret Pal had come up with it on his own. Other people were publically shamed by the Tour Managers (i.e. sprayed with a water spritzer) for forgetting binders or shoes or suitcases. Then it was back on the bus to Kamloops!

We arrived in Kamloops, a beautiful city that immediately supplanted Golden and Three Hills for the place Where I Want to Live Later. It mixes the gorgeous scenery and intimacy of a smalltown with the population and amenities of a city (Chapters and Cineplex! Whoohoo!). I could so live there. It makes where I live look so dull and flat. We took a half-hour break at Riverside Park, half of which I spent waiting to use a public bathroom (using the bathroom on the bus is never a good idea - you need a weird old-school Secret-Garden-esque key to get in). The other half I used to walk down to the riverside (it has a beach, and parts of it are slow enough to swim in during the summer) and look at the vast numbers of Canada geese and ducks swimming and walking about with little fear of humans.

Back on the bus, we drove to the church we were to perform in to practice and be assigned our billets. I gave my Secret Pal a clue when he showed off the necklace he made, and I got a clue for completing my own Secret Pal task. In an interesting turn of events this year, for this and our next billet, we were to go home with them for dinner, come back for the performance, and then return to the billet's house to sleep. During our last two Tours, we always had a group dinner and went home with our billets after the performance. This year, however, it was different. Better in some ways - this way when the performance and moving crew are finished, I don't have to scramble to change and drag my luggage behind me. Rather, we go to our performance in our formal dress with only a binder and that's how we leave. Worse in others - the group dinners were always fun and an opportunity for people to perform their public Secret Pal tasks.

Good thing, though, in Kamloops I had a wonderful billet. A university professor and his elementary teacher wife took my billet partner and I in to their absolutely lovely house. We were given a small guest room with a floor-to-ceiling window facing a tree covered in tiny birds, and then we shared delicious tea with them and had a wonderful conversation about books. They had a huge DVD collection of BBC period pieces and novel adaptations and Masterpiece Classic productions and I had such a great time. The husband was from South Africa and the wife and her mother were Holland, and they were all such fountains of information. Their house is higher up on the mountain than others, so I got some great pictures of the view from their balcony.

After a good performance, we came back, showered, and fell asleep - we were extra tired because by then we'd moved to BC time so while it felt later to us, at least we'd get an extra hour to sleep in the next morning.

Day 3 - Beauty and the Geek Day! Kamloops to North Vancouver
My billet partner and I woke up and we had a wonderful breakfast - soft boiled brown eggs with freshly-sliced white toast to dip, and more tea. Today was Beauty and the Geek Day, and I had my costume all picked out - purple knee socks, grey pleated skirt, frumpy blouse, striped tie, my spare glasses (with thicker frames) and weird hair. Too bad today we had a school concert and had to wear jeans and our choir t-shirt to that! *facepalm* I wore most of my costume underneath my choir stuff. With our luggage, we were all driven back to the church where we performed, and I was given a toy duck and the task to write a story about him. In turn, I gave my Secret Pal a packet of foam crowns with the task to crown himself and one prince and princess later on.

After that, we had a school concert which is always fun - and I saw my Secret Pal wearing his crown, ha ha. Afterwards, I had to help Moving Crew, but then I skipped out early to get on the Tour bus and change quickly into my Geek duds. We performed a hora - my Secret Pal completed his task - and got back on the bus to hightail it over to North Vancouver.

There were no billets today, instead we had a group sleep in the gym of Simon Fraser University. Dropping off our stuff was fun - why? Because I had to drag my huge-ass suitcase (it holds my sleeping bag among other things) down something like four or five sets of stairs. There was even the "ramp of fail" - a ramp adjacent to a staircase that led to a platform from which you could exit only by stairs. Brilliant. After dropping off our stuff, a chorus alumnus gave some of us the tour of the place. It was absolutely beautiful because spring comes a million times earlier to BC than it does where I live (we just had light snow - YESTERDAY IN MAY). However, SFU itself is made of giant grey concrete - our tourguide agreed that it would look pretty dreary once winter came and took all the natural colour away.

At the potluck supper provided, I read my story (my tiny duck goes on a killing rampage), we finished supper and went to our performance. It was a difficult one - the church was very small so getting all the risers and bell tables in there was a trial, not to mention it was blistering hot to sing inside of and everyone got so crazy thirsty some volunteers opened the kitchen so we could get water. When we went back to the University, I ended up showering in the sink because the SFU showers have NO CURTAINS OR DOORS OR BARRIERS OF ANY KIND and I felt way too embarrassed to be that public. So the sink and a crick in my neck it was!

All things considered, I slept very well in my sleepbag on the hard ground.

Day 4 - Super Hero Day! North Vancouver to Victoria
Woke up bright and early and changed into most of my costume - I wore bright blue leggings under a black skort and a spangled star shirt. Overtop all of this I put my jeans and choir hoodie because we had another school concert today. Covertly, I gave my Secret Pal another task (he had to quack at people to collect three plastic ducks) then lugged my suitcase up those four or five sets of stairs back to the bus.

Breakfast was food scavaged from a grocery store by the super thoughtful Tour Managers - granola bars, fruit cups and juice. While eating mine, I heard my Secret Pal quacking frantically for his three ducks. Ha!

We had another school concert, which we had to cut short because we had to make the ferry to Victoria. The school was nice - they even sang their own theme song back to us. Great weather, too - I swear, we went to BC during the perfect week - every single cherry tree was in full pink blossom everywhere we went. After that, it was a quick hora with no Secret Pal stuff and back on the bus, where I changed into my full costume as Galaxy Girl - including black fingerless gloves, dangly star earrings, thigh-high boots, and blue hair extensions. On the way to the ferry, I found out we still had to wear our choir shirts because Bob wanted a picture of us on the ferry. Well damn.

We arrived well on time for the ferry's departure and the bus drove us all onto the ferry. I was excited because I heard this was the right place and season to be spotting orca whales, but no luck. It was a huge ferry with several decks, and an interesting place to be, especially to me who hadn't seen the ocean in person since Ireland in 2003. Well, when we finally took our group picture on the ferry deck (and sang a 15-minute, unannounced African medley to befuddled but hopefully entertained passengers), we could take off our hoodies and be in our costumes, finally! I looked like a freakin' harajuku girl. I'm sure a few people were weirded out (but not that many, I mean, it was BC). I also got a tiny saxaphone and a Secret Pal task to have a guy serenade me on it.

It was gorgeous on the ferry - I took lots of great pictures as we chugged around dozens of tiny islands. I was a little sad to go back on the bus. But now we were in Victoria, on Vancouver island! We set up in a highschool and were divided amongst our billets (even though this was only day 4, this would be our last billet). My billet partner and I went with a retired library assistant with a celiac husband who lived in a hundred-year-old house one block from the beach. I wondered at our billeting, but I suspect it's because my billet partner and I represent the ultimate conglomerate of food allergies (combined? No nuts, shrimp, pork, or dairy), so it's easier to set us up with people who already have to deal with stuff like that.

There were two rooms set up for us - I was gracious and let my billet partner pick which one she wanted to sleep in turned out to be a bad decision because it meant I had to sleep in a cot in the craft room with a spinning wheel and a loom, *lol*! It wasn't too bad, and we had time before dinner to explore the rocky beach by the billets house - we could see mountains in the distance, we explored a few tidal pools and saw tiny snails and mussels. After supper we were driven to the high school to perform and I was struck by how beautiful all the houses in Victoria were - people still paint houses turquoise and fushia there and plant flowers wherever they can. My city never feels that green or pretty - the new suburbs near my house are all different colours of beige stucco.

The performance was very weird for me - for this (and the previous) performance I just felt so uncontrollably sleepy! I had to focus and pinch the skin between my fingers because I felt like I was going to drop off completely and screw up the song! I just wanted the concert to be over so I could go home and sleep. I was dead on my feet by the time we got back - but no! I had to shower first! And the only working shower in the whole house was a tiny one in their basement surrounded by concrete flooring. After that unpleasant experience I could finally go up to the craft room and drop off to sleep.

Day 5 - Be Your Billet Partner Day! Victoria to Comox
Neither I nor my billet partner were much up for trading places for this theme day, so we just traded hoodies (that have our names on it) and that's was that. Breakfast was waffles - lots of waffles. Odd that both the billets had had celiac people served waffles for breakfast. Still - yummy, and enough of them to make me forget the terrible freezing basement shower experience.

Off we went, back to the high school, to perform our last school concert. We had to change the line-up a bit, partly for time, and partly because we were performing for high schoolers this time around and not little kids. Thanks to a mix-up the Victoria folks didn't provide the bagged lunches they'd said they would, so the hora was again cut short with no Secret Pal tasks allowed, to allow us time to make a stop somewhere else for lunch. This meant I couldn't have a guy serenade me on my sax just yet - although I did slip my Secret Pal his flower crown with the order to be a "happy flower."

After a long drive, we stopped in a little place called Coombs, a weeeird place that had a little carnival-esque strip mall of sorts, with bizarre statues of giraffes and buddha and swans scattered in random places. A bunch of choristers, including me, bought greasy but good sandwiches and burgers from a little shop by the giant random statue garden - and we spotted an eagle (I caught it on tape).

After that, it was on to Comox, where we prepared for that most interesting and illuminating of all Tour nights - Hotel Night. For one night on Tour, the choir beds down in a hotel, which usually means that after the concert people have little parties in their rooms, or go out to bars and restaurants to dance and have fun - once we give a good performance, of course. We set up in a what was apparently Pamela Anderson's old high school, and had a delicious roast chicken supper provided by volunteers. During supper, one of our Social Conveners had to write a romantic poem about each male chorister - and she made them both dirty and funny! I didn't have time to have someone serenade me with my tiny sax, but oh well. At the concert, I sang completely off-book (without my music) to make sure I stayed awake and alert throughout, and it worked.

Then - it was Hotel Night! Navigating last year's Hotel Night seemed easier because the bars were an hour's walk away, so most people stayed in their hotel rooms or wandered out in large groups. This year? Not so much. In these situations I'm a bit of a social ramora - I tag onto the largest social group and see where it goes. I bought a little something for our Main Tour Manager, because honestly this was one of the hardest Tours to organize, then followed other people from hotel room to room. There was a bit of a snag when one room was completely emptied thanks to a noise complaint (according to one chorister who works at a hotel, usually they warn people but this time they just emptied the room), so people started keeping it down after that.

I eventually followed some people to the bar adjacent to the hotel. While the proprieter warned us that since most of us were already buzzed (I was rather flattered to be included in the group, despite being as sober as a nun) that the cut-off point would be sooner rather than later, we ended up staying there rather late. A live band was playing and got some choristers (including a social convener) to go on stage and sing with them - and our social convenor rocked it out! She was amazing! More choristers started coming to the bar, and I tried to enjoy myself, but I was a little unsettled. I tried dancing with people on the dance floor, but I feel older than everyone else (I'm not that old, though -_-;;) and less attractive and a terrible dancer so I kept feeling like a dork, and not in the fun way. In hindsight it seems ridiculous that I felt that way - I'm not a supermodel, but I'm not badlooking, and I'm definitely not an old hanger on. But that's how I felt at the time.

Eventually, a townie tried to pick me up (for the very first time! This Tour was all about the social milestones), and I was creeped out by it. He didn't do anything particularly egregious (I could barely hear him over the music, anyway), but I was so unused to that sort of situation that I felt threatened and stood next to some big, strapping, male choristers (and eventually had one of them walk me back to the hotel) to keep him away. By that time, most choir people had either migrated over to the bar or were involved in their own private amusements, so I decided to go to bed. It was about 1:30 am. There was a part of me that wailed that I was antisocial and should have stayed out later and made an effort, just as there was a part of me that said I had made an effort and was now uncomfortable and should go to bed and just accept that the night was over. That made it a little better.

Day 6 - Rainbow Brite Day! Comox to Vancouver
I didn't sleep too well thanks to a loud AC machine in the hotel room, but was otherwise way brighter and cheerier that morning than a lot of people. Today was Rainbow Brite day, and each section had to wear a different colour. I, being Soprano II, had to wear red - I couldn't find any red pants but I wore a red t-shirt and jumper. One of my friends in the Baritone (Yellow) section went all out - he wore yellow shirt, pants, toque, yellow mittens, a fluorescent yellow scarf, and shoes covered in yellow electrical tape.

Breakfast after Hotel Night is always delicious - we had it at the hotel. Some people managed to complete their Secret Pal tasks, but I missed out again because we had to hit the road to catch the ferry that would take us to Vancouver. Oh well!

We arrived in plenty of time to do some shopping. I caved a bought an adorable little stuffed black bear because it was only five dollars. This ferry was smaller (maybe because it wasn't a main one to Victoria), and super-windy. Weirdly, standing or lying still, the sun was wonderfully warm, but standing up and walking (especially towards the front of the ship), it was super windy and cold! I kept at it, though - I really wanted to see if I could see an orca whale, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity. Sadly, it was not to be.

We arrived in Vancouver for a special day. We had no performances today. None. Our previous engagement cancelled on us, so our Tour Manager had to work double-time just to get us a place to stay. She managed it, because she is AWESOME, but there was no point in trying to find us someplace to sing because there was no time to advertise, so we had a day to rest in Vancouver. Before going to the church we would sleep at, we were dropped off at Granville island to explore. I went and saw the children's market, one of the best toy stores I'd ever seen. They had different sections for different types of toys - stuff animals, puppets, wooden toys, TV-tie in toys, craft materials. It was awesome!

My billet partner and I explored some of the art galleries - I found an artist whose work I liked, but was currently too expensive and delicate to take home with me (and now I've forgotten the name like a dum-dum - Tricia Avissa something). Vancouver is a beautiful city, although in a different way than Victoria. Victoria is old-school - bright colours and beautiful cottage-y houses and old-fashioned looks. Vancouver is very postmodern, glass and steel and warped metal new-agey stuff. I prefer Victoria, but to each their own. After that, we got on the bus and we packed all our things away in the very nice church that allowed us to sleep there, and went exploring. I followed the Tour Manager and some other people to find a place to eat, and we had a very nice time at Earl's, sipping cocktails. Other people went to bars to see the Canucks hockey game.

After that, we went back to the church, but I didn't feel finished yet. I didn't want to tell my parents I'd been to Vancouver but saw only an Earl's, so I went out with the other Assistant Tour Manager, thinking she was leading a group of people around Vancouver. It turns out she wasn't - it was only her and two other people who were way more adventurous than me. I tagged along for a while to get some pictures but eventually just wanted to go back, but I didn't want to go alone. They had their own plans though, so eventually I jumped ship because I figured it was safer to walk seven blocks alone in the dark in a strange city than it was to walk, say, ten blocks alone in the dark in a strange city.

I got back in time to change into my pyjamas and play "Apples to Apples" (a funny card game) and "What if?" (a funnier question game) with people, and had a much better time than I had gadding about Vancouver in the dark. Once again, even though I had no mattress, I slept really well in my sleeping bag - maybe because I was having such a good time.

Day 7 - Hawaiian Day! Vancouver to Clearwater
Woke up bright and early. Heard "The First of May" (today was May 1st) by Jonathan Coulton for the first time, and resolved to buy one of his CDs. I wore a sarong and my skort and a flower necklace today, but that was about it.

After everyone was awake, we made a hora that was very long thanks to the number of people who needed to complete their tasks. I finally got a serenade on my tiny sax and my Secret Pal did a puppet show with the puppets I'd given him earlier. For breakfast, our Tour Managers drove us to a Safeway and said the choir would reimburse us $5.00 a person for breakfast, so buy what you like - I got chocolate Poptarts and chocolate milk, heh. Breakfast of champions!

For Hawaiian day, someone taped a cardboard hula girl to the bathroom door on our bus, and named it after a certain bell-ringer's mom (said chorister's mom had been the traditional butt of many jokes this Tour). We arrived in Clearwater after that. Nothing particularly special happened today, but I resolved to enjoy it and enjoy singing as much as I could.

Day 8 - Clearwater to Hinton (Skit Night!)
The folks at the Clearwater school who let us have a group sleep there also gave us a good breakfast, yum, which we needed to get up our strength for Skit Night. This year I finally decided to write a skit (about the nefarious origins of some of our songs), and I spent most of the time on the bus giving myself severe handcramps copying several copies of the script by hand to give to my actors.

Our lunchbreak came in a town that had actually rejected our offer of a concert in their town, oddly enough. Thanks to the nearest restaurant having just gone out of business, most people lined up at the A&W, which took a while, believe me. It was worth it to see the incredulous looks of the manager every time he came out of his office and continued to see a line that was three miles long, *lol*.

We arrived in Hinton, where we learned we'd be having our last concert (and Skit Night and Group Sleep) in a church - which weirded some people out, given the material that usually goes into our skits on skit night, *lol*. The people at the church were really nice and provided GREAT food - some delicious soups before the concert (including a sumptuous Acadian chicken soup) and cheesy nachos after the concert. The last concert was a resounding success, and afterwards many people cried - it was the last concert of Tour, after all. Some people weren't coming back - either because they didn't have the time or were moving or some other reason, so the last performance is always really poignant.

After the last performance came skits - including the annual Bell Skit performed by our Conductor and handbell ringers, in which everybody always dies. There were skits that spoofed the difficulty of our songs, and the arduous signing of tour programs (everyone gets a program that everyone's signed, kind of like a yearbook - and every year there's a "fake" program for "Tim Tomlinson" - who's not a real person, but it's funny to read the people who don't know this and figure they can't remember him so write bullshit things like "had a great time! see you next year"), and musical performances. It was a blast - my skit came rather late in the program, so I was worried some of my actors might be a little too inebriated by that point, but it just made it funnier! They said all their lines correctly, and our Assistant Conductor (who didn't drink) nevertheless hilariously ad-lipped his lines! Then our conductor gave a lovely heartfelt speech, people started crying, and the night winded down (at 5:00 am, and we had to be out the door by 8:00 because the next day was a Sunday and people would be coming to Church!).

Day 9 - Hinton to Our city
So endeth the Tour - everyone woke up and, unshowered, loaded themselves back onto the bus to drive back to Our City. Most people slept - no one really got that much sleep on skit night. However, by the time we got back to our City, I resolved not to let another four months go by without contact. That's what always got me down about the end of tour before - it would be another four months before I'd see these people. But not this time. I would keep in touch, by hook or by crook.

This tour, more than my previous two Tours, seemed to whizz by so quickly. I couldn't understand it. But I think it's because I enjoyed this tour more than any other. A lot of this came from my determination to volunteer and help people and put myself in more positions to do things and socialize, rather than the other years where I sat back and latched onto other peoples' socializing. This was also a year where I accepted the lulls in activity as natural lulls and not as a failure of my ability to socialize. As a result, I was more flexible and enjoyed myself more. Tour is such a great place, because Choir is filled with all sorts of great people.

As you can probably tell, it's also tradition for my tour posts to be incredibly rambling, but there you go. Maybe years from now I'll go back and rewrite my tour posts into something more structured, but not now.


  1. Thanks for writing such a detailed and introspective description of your experience on the tour. You held my interest closely through the entire narrative.

    I wish, however, that you had provided some more information about the choir. How many members does the choir have, and what are the age range and male/female ratio? It seems to be a school choir, but it seems that some of the members have graduated.

    Also, the secret-pal antics ran through the entire narrative, but then you didn't tell how they ended. I suppose such a tour game just fizzles out eventually, but your really did leave us readers hanging in thin air about it at the end.

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