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Olympic Warm-Up

May 8, 2008

Tom –  As usual, we ate our breakfast at the hotel buffet and then again tried to go to the bazaar.  It was raining but in the square across from the Bell Tower there was a pre-Olympic rally taking place.  It began by introducing the “Five Friendlies” –  Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini – the Olympic Mascots.

It was exactly three months before the opening of the games in Beijing.  The “Friendlies” were followed by an honor guard, dancers, the Olympic Torch,

children performing,

martial arts performers,

Chinese “cheer leaders”

recognition of local athletes and of course political speeches.

Summer, our guide, picked us up at 9:30 for a tour of the Shaanxi (Province) History Museum.  As mentioned earlier, Xian was the capital of many early Chinese Dynasties and these were covered in some detail. 

Afterward we were taken for lunch to a nice buffet restaurant; however, our schedule stated that we would be eating lunch in a private room of a farmer’s house.  We were then driven an hour outside the city to the home and studio of a family of Chinese folk artists. 

Another sales pitch followed and we were upset that our last half day was wasted in this way.  This trip was expensive!  After expressing our displeasure to our guide, we were driven to the airport early (3 hours) to wait for our flight back to Beijing.      

 

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