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Originally published at Andy Does Beijing. You can comment here or there.

8:00am: BREAKFAST IN BED

This past week, we’ve gotten in the habit of posting the agenda for the next day or two on a handwritten piece of notebook paper, taped to the inside door of our hallway entrance at the hotel. The last few days, it’s listed stuff like when breakfast is served, when the busses are leaving, which events or tourist spots we’ll travel to, etc.

Today’s agenda: 8:00am BREAKFAST IN BED. I don’t know whose idea it was or who executed it, but today somebody dropped by each room, rapped hard on the door, and handed us two plastic tins of breakfast (two muffins, a sweet sausage with corn bits, a pouch of milk, and a small pouch of instant coffee.) I slept right through it and was only vaguely aware that breakfast had been dropped off. The muffins were OK, though nutty. The sausage was a little icky. I haven’t had straight milk since sixth grade and never instant cofee. But, the muffins tided me till lunch. It was a lovely morning, sleeping in till 10am — especially since we didn’t get back from eating dumplings last night until 12:30-1ish and already missing sleep from the previous day.

Down the Street, not Across the Lane

Lunch found us again down the street at the restaurant. We didn’t have the tour bus today, because who really needs a tour bus to drive us two blocks down the street just to eat lunch? (That fact did indeed dissuade some students from coming out to lunch.) Incidentally, I ended up hitching a ride in the back of the manager’s van, since I didn’t know the turn.

It was lunch. Nothing too interesting save that they serve the soup last, since it’s a south Chinese restaurant.

Afterwards, Rachel Young wanted to hit the bank and get some cash out for Olympic tickets (US dollars) and living expenses (RMB 元). I walked down with her, since I wanted to see if the Olympic store has the shirt I’ve been lusting after and get some cash for myself. She asked for $120 US and it took the bank a good forty-five minutes to authorize it, so we sat around and talked about inappropriate things in the lobby. (We weren’t too worried about getting kicked out or anything, since it was our money and they didn’t speak that much English.)

Finally, post-money, we hit the Olympic store and Rachel picked up gifts for some of her people. I didn’t see anything that I needed, so we meandered about a little and then hit the Vanguard on the way home, which is basically a competitor to the Walmart but slightly smaller (two-story warehouse instead of three stories in a mall). We nearly bought some lime-flavored Lays (乐子), but decided against it in favor of a bagful of chocolate junk food.

That chocolate junk food, which included a baggie of mini Snickers (not bite-size, but mini — like, 2″ long), was delicious on the walk home. The good mood lasted until I realized we were supposed to leave for the second set of gymnastics finals ten minutes before I walked in to the hotel, so I ran around for ten minutes and put my life together for the evening. After that, This trip being what it is with tardiness (namely, if there’s more than three people leaving at once, they never leave when they say they wiill), we sat around in the hallway for another forty minutes waiting for everyone to get ready.

Mexican-style Cabbing; also, Mistaken Identities

We had nine in our party: Lauren (skater), Karen (lez), Kelly, Taylor, Kevin, Tiffany, MA, Victoria, and me. Cabs typically only fit four. The first cab fit Tiffany, Victoria, MA, and Lauren perfectly fine. The second cab? Well, Karen took advantage of her horrid communication skills and well-selected wardrobe stunning good looks to distract the cabbie while the four skinny-butts squeezed into the back seat of the cab. Kelly ducked down right behind the driver so nobody could see her between Taylor and me. We were all duly amused — especially the cabbie, who counted us getting out of the car at the subway station and did a double-take: “… five?” At the subway station, we meet up with the other half of our group and hopped on the 5 line to transfer to the 2, so we could get off at the 8 transfer line (the Olympic venue line) and walk up to the Olympic Green.

As we walked up the block towards the Olympic Green, Karen expressed her amazement and confusion that an entire hotel was built next to the Olympic Green specifically for the Games, with a tower resembling a torch. That confused us. “Karen, it’s the Olympics. It’s millions of people converging upon one city for three weeks. They built four new arenas. They built almost the entire subway system around it. Of course they built an Olympic-themed hotel. IT’S THE FREAKING OLYMPICS.” Oh, Karen, please to stop and think open-mindedly before you squeak. This is a very sheltered woman girl who drives her car to pick up coffee at Starbucks and and drive the DC Metro station for a commute to her desk job, where she analyzes data about the economic status in developing countries. Welcome to it.

Getting through security took a few minutes, so we unfortunately missed the better part of the opening event: men’s split ring. Nonetheless, the rest of the show was grrrrrrrreat! I hearts rhythmic gymnastics.

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