So today was the big day-- 21 finalists battling it out for the title of "Best DJ" at the ShengLi Plaza 9th Anniversary Fresh Voice DJ Tournament (see posts below).
I hadn't prepared a whit since I learned last week that I was a finalist, and neither had my friend Ning Ning, a quirky little ball of cute and spunk that had also wound up in the contest by accident. We both figured we'd roll through on charm and false confidence.
The other contestants were all dressed to the nines in their posh-est hosting outfits; Ning Ning and I were chillin' in street-wear and flip-flops.
Other contestants brought back-up singers, belly dancers, pre-recorded muzak, and perfect tone-exaggerated Mandarin; I stumbled through an introduction and wound up rapping Blackalicious lyrics to a hand-clap beat.
Ning Ning and I prepared the least, cared the least, and certainly had the least invested in this contest: we took 1st and 3rd place, respectively, winning a combined value prize of 4,000 RMB (US$500), in addition to a separate Most Excellently Popular award that they threw at me for kicks.
So I'm sitting on 1000 RMB cash, two trophies, a certificate of achievement, and, of course, 500 RMB worth of coupons at the sponsor Taiwanese Noodle Shop.
More than enough to live comfortably in this wonderful city for at least month. Isn't that weird? For an afternoon of goofing off in public, a random off-the-street foreigner earn a month's rent, utilities, food, and living expenses (assuming he's willing to eat Taiwanese noodles every meal for 30 days).
Could I do this for a living? I'm serious-- could I travel around China participating and winning local talent shows, and pay bills out of the prize money? I mean, it'd get old after a while, but it'd be an excuse to travel full-time and my Mandarin would get amazing...
I fucking love this country.