Reposted from 12/31/09
Twenty years ago, when skating in a show in Japan, we had noticed the audience spending more on the t-shirts and pictures and tipping the waiters on New Years.
Later I learned why. New Years is a big holiday for the Japanese and the thinking goes that giving away more money at the end of the year will make you richer in the new year.
But I didn't know it at the time. So I was a confused when I saw a paper bill on the ice during the kickline in our show on New Year's Eve. As we kicked our way downstage I discovered it wasn't any old paper bill, but an ichiman yen.
That was 10,000 yen! Half a week's* pay! And it was sitting all by itself on the side of the ice.
Now I would like to think that I was the utmost professional and I would never deviate from the choreography, but there was half a week's pay taunting me. So I instead of the last kick I improvised with a nice lunge, broke from the line and swooped up the money. Roughly $75 in exchange for risking a $10 fine for misconduct.
I was so excited with my new windfall that I had to tell the other skaters, which meant I had to donate the money to the party fund. (By being generous, I hoped I wouldn't get fined. And I didn't).
So, that made for a happier New Year's Eve party, I think. But I'm not really sure what happened to the money after I handed it over to the company manager. And I'm not sure if the Japanese audience member who threw it had a more prosperous year either.
*for you math geeks - we did receive only $150 a week as per diem. The balance of the $300 weekly chorus pay went not-so-directly to my bank account in the States.
December 17, 2014
December 12, 2014
I posted this CNN article last year, but I think the Maggie Daley Park ice skating rink - a.k.a. the Ribbon - should be added to the list.
As a reminder - here were the top 10 according to the article, plus a few of my own ...
Banff Lake Louise, Banff, Canada
Bondi Winter Festival Ice Rink, Sydney
Eiffel Tower Ice Rink, Paris
Evergreen Lake, Colorado
Red Square Rink, Moscow
Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa
Rockefeller Center, New York
Shichahai Lake, Beijing
Somerset House, London
Vienna Ice Dream, Vienna, Austria
But I think they have left out a few ...
Let's not forget the world's biggest ice rink in one of my favorite cities - Mexico City.
Maybe you would like to skate near a roller coaster or ferris wheel? Then Fuji-Q Highland Park in Japan is for you.
Or in the Netherlands there is this beauty ... a little hard to do your program, but great for stroking!
But I've got to say one of the most interesting to me is an ice rink in the Munich Airport. Yes, how many airports have an ice rink? Pretty cool if you have a looooong layover.
I'll ask again - are there any I'm missing?