Brenda and I went to a restaurant with red lanterns in front that serves hot pot. A hot pot is like sukiyaki. It is a mish mash of meat, vegetables and noodles cooked at the table. There was no English spoken and the menu was completely in Chinese. For westerners there are pictures of the dishes. We had trouble ordering so a waitress recommended something that looked safe. It was very tasty. Today we went back with our Chinese speaking friend, Eir Zhou. Turns out the dish was donkey, a very popular meat throughout the country. Sometimes it is better not to know what you are eating.
Every time I tell a young man in Beijing that I am from Colorado his eyes light up and he goes “Aah, Denver Nuggets.” When I mentioned this to Liu Yang he got excited and started talking about how much he likes Alan Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers is also one of his favorites. He wanted to make sure I knew Yao Ming plays for the Houston Rockets. Chinese men love their basketball. Not just Yao Ming but our NBA players too. They seem particularly fond of the Denver Nuggets.
Brenda and I went with Eir Zhou, our Chinese colleague, and her friend, Cranberry (she likes the band, The Cranberries, and picked it as her English name) to the Peking Opera. This particular opera was a story about love and betrayal. Visually they are stunning with glorious costumes but oh, the sound!! The performance was extremely cacophonous. One of these is enough for a lifetime. During the performance Cranberry took a business call on her cell phone and talked in the theatre for 20 minutes. Not one person in the audience complained. Manners are different here in China.
While videotaping in the International Broadcast Center a young Chinese woman came over to chat. She introduced herself by her English name of Muffy. She was a volunteer studying landscaping at her university and was helping to put up the banners that decorate the building. She said the job was not very creative but she was very proud to do it because she was participating in the Olympics. There were 560,000 applicants for 100,000 Olympic volunteer opportunities. It was very competitive. Most of those who applied had bachelor’s degrees or higher.
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