Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 19


Today was pretty thrilling - - I will tell you why.

We went to the city of Nara and headed to Todaiji. Its another buddhist temple. HOWEVER, this one they call 'big buddha.' (Not to be confused with the popular game 'big bootie...') Anyway i was like 'yeah...whuteva. It cant be THAT big' but im telling you - this was one BIG buddha. Walking to the actual place was pretty cool too though because there are these giant herds of deer (not herds of giant deer..) that are all tame and domestic-afied and you can pet them and they'll touch you and follow you around and theyre fuzzy and cute and wonderful and my dreams of cuddling with a deer have FINALLY come true!! They were great. You could buy little cakey thigns to feed them. Lisa did but they were so aggressive in wanting to eat them that they were pulling on her sweater with their teeth and stuff...fer SWEET!

Anyway the Buddha was pretty fantastic!! It was GINORMOUS. The pictures really wont do it justice -but i totally cultureafied myself. I donated some change and burned an incense stick at the front (to start the purification process) and I definitely took part in something way cool. There is a hole in one of the 300 year old pillars and if you stuff your body thru it - the legend goes - that you will have good health for a whole year!!! The hole is the size of the big buddha's nostril, so the way i see it - you fit yourself up buddha's nose, and you wont get sick! I say...RIGHT ON, BUDDHA!!!

We ate at another grocery store/food court/market dealio like the one we ate at in Korea though this one was less extensive and fancy. Rachel and I pooled the moolah they gave us and had a nice lunch of edamame, cherries and some little dumplinger thingers and then topped it off with some good ol' Baskin Robbins!!!

After that we went to the venue and started to rehearse and crap. The venue was a little smaller but the acoustics were redeeming. We rehearsed for too long, i think. They were recording it so we took advantage of that killed some chops, thats for sure.

The concert tonight was SERIOUSLY amazing. We definitely peaked today and that was a wonderful feeling. Despite our lips being dead and shot (at least mine were...) there was a general sense of energy that hasnt always been present in our other concerts. Its too bad that its such a hard phenomenon to explain. For the first time, the people were on their feet yelling 'bravo!!' immediately, as opposed to after the 1st encore. When we sang 'Go Ye Now in Peace' to them, I saw many people dabbing their eyes (which looked a little funny over their face masks - which most people were wearing, maybe 95% of the audience) but nevertheless it was obvious that they were touched. We were touched too. Many of us began to cry and it was a very lovely experience. Im amazed by how much love I feel for these people who I dont even really know. Theyre so gracious, loving, kind and wonderful. I really hope to be able to come back here some day.

Im excited to be home, too. Our 2nd to last encore piece was the Stars and Stripes Forever and that just made me think of the 4th of July and i got excited...America is a great place to be :) See you the day after tomorrow!!!

We're just chillin' like ice cream fillin'....

Purification rituals! Hooray!!
He's huge.

I will be healthy for a YEAR!!!!

Our last venue for our FINAL CONCERT!!!

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