My hotel window has an amazing view from it - I can see the Bird's Nest AND the Aquatic Center. I'm pretty much hooked up as far as views go. So tonight, I plop down into my window chair to read a truly terrible chick lit book when holy crap! The sky is exploding! It was fireworks from the Bird's Nest!!! They must have been rehearsing for the Opening Ceremony. I kept grabbing my camera in order to take pics and I would stand there like a very patient Quail hunter waiting for the fireworks to go off again, get tired of waiting and think well, it's been ten minutes, I guess they're done. I'd put my camera down and BAM! The fireworks would start up again. I think this happened about 4 times before I finally huffed out of my room in a fit, unable to take the emotional strain of waiting to capture sparkly lights on my camera.
I am going to the Great Wall tomorrow with a group of some of the researchers here and so I went to go get some cold hard commie cash. (OH!!!!! I just heard a huge explosion outside from more fireworks.... foiled again!) Like always, I was swarmed on my arrival at the bank and a woman pulled out a chair for me and stood with me throughout the entire transaction (with someone else, while another dude helped her. Reminds me of an old joke, how many chinese people does it take to change a lightbulb? I don't know the punchline, but I'm sure it's hilarious)
Anyway, this woman's english was excellent and she eventually relaxed and started just asking me questions about America. She wanted to know what our favorite foods were - I told her pizza, hamburgers and Chinese! She was really surprised and wanted to know if American's liked spicy food. I said some certainly do - she said, well, spicy food is really bad for your skin. Ohhhhh-k. Not the response I was expecting, but a good nugget of info anyways.
Towards the end of the conversation, after she'd pointed out some great places to visit while I was here, I told her that everyone in her country had been extremely helpful so far. She quickly replied, "Ohhhh, we must." And she was dead serious. It was odd. It was def a crack in the facade a bit.
Lester Holt has stopped stalking me. I'm very sad. He was on my flight over and apparently he was talking about me on the news today. And by me, I mean, the flight. So not really me at all. The flight we were on flew up and over the North Pole and over Siberia. I thought we'd go over the Pacific but nope - straight up! I woke up once when we were smack over the North Pole (I was looking for arctic puppets and elves but no luck) and then again when we were over Greenland. For some reason, everyone threw up the shades when we were over Greenland and looked out. It got really bright in the cabin so that was totally annoying. I was deep in slumber and thanks to a magical blue sleeping pill, I went directly back into that slumber. I have no idea what was so interesting about Greenland on that flight but there must have been something!