Today I went and saw the actual performance of ‘Hamlet’, and things were certainly different with a live audience. One woman sitting at the right of the stage (it was performed in the round) found everything absolutely hysterical, including the scene where Hamlet physically assaults Ophelia. This also happened to be around the same time that a lady towards the back left of the audience decided to have a breakdown, spending the remainder of the performance being comforted by one of the ushers. Quite why she decided to stay was beyond me (and more importantly beyond my linguistic prowess), but it’s fair to say that she was certainly moved by the performance. Mind you she wasn’t the only one; the director had changed a couple of things since the rehearsals, most notably by having Fortinbras kill off Horatio at the very end of the play. It certainly caught me off guard, and I can’t deny that my eyes became a little moist, although that might have just been relief at the fact that I wouldn’t have to put my bladder through any more long and enforced sessions of inactivity.
The thing that I am going to miss least about my work placement in Saitama, when it comes to an end next month, is the daily commute. Door to door it takes me about an hour and a half each way, and (as someone ‘kindly’ pointed out to me the other day) I could buy a return flight to Korea with the amount that I spend on commuting every week. I try not to dwell on this fact too much, as doing so causes me to break out in cold sweats, which given the current weather simply speeds up my daily dose of mild hypothermia.