Edinburgh Fringe

Kuan-Wen Huang travels to Edinburgh with his teddy

ExclusiveSaturday 5th August 2023, 11:55pm

Kuan-Wen Huang

As the Edinburgh Fringe starts, many find it hard enough to get themselves to the city - but comedian Kuan-Wen Huang has travelled by train with his massive teddy in tow.

Kuan-Wen admits: "I probably should have chosen a smaller teddy to come to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with me. It would have been so much easier. Nounours, my favourite teddy, the size of a 5-year-old boy, makes the already hectic journey an even bigger nightmare.

"Some would argue I should have written instead: 'I should have packed a smaller teddy to come to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'. I guess our emotional attachment to teddies are not on the same level.

"But then, I put Nounours right in the centre of my poster and kept sharing Instagram stories about Nounours making his Edinburgh Fringe debut with me. I thought, better keep my promise. I don't do deceiving ads like McDonald's, when the Big Mac looks depressingly miniscule in real life.

"Putting him in a luggage with other items would certainly damage his already flattened spine. I know TECHNICALLY he has no bones, but he used to hold up so much better. Putting him in an IKEA carrier bag seems demeaning, since he has always lived a middle-class way of life with me.

Kuan-Wen Huang's large teddy, Nounours, on board a train

"So Nounours was put into the largest Zara bag I could find, with his head poking out. I managed the walk to Bermondsey station. I managed to arrive at King's Cross. Thank God it's London, most people couldn't care less about others. Although when that mum made me move away because her 'push chair' had priority, I did give her a dirty look. Her boy was at least 10, his limbs hang around the baby buggy like an octopus forced into a container that is way too small. THAT BOY COULD AND SHOULD STAND, rather than taking space away from other people. My teddy rarely leaves the house. Perspective?

"The worst part was the train. I was THIS CLOSE to buying a separate ticket just for Nounours. But then, if the train is packed to the roof and old pensioners have to stand all the way from London to at least Darlington... Even if I am legitimately entitled to two seats, I don't think I have quite the courage to say to the pensioners, 'Hands off of the seat. You keep standing there. That belongs to my teddy - I bought a ticket just for my teddy'.

"I guess I still have a bit of shame left. Nounours is currently crammed between the table and my thighs. He won't be happy about this journey. But then, no one ever enjoys the journey to Edinburgh just before the Fringe. Artists are meant to suffer - he needs to learn. At least a kind Scottish lad offered to take a picture of me and Nounours together before other passengers boarded the train.

"Finally, a little girl sat down next to me whilst her mum sat opposite her. She spotted Nounours. She gave him a warm smile. No judgements whatsoever."

He concludes: "Here we come, Edinburgh!"

Share this page