Date: Tuesday July 21,2009
Party: Vu, Dan
Another day Dan & I were touring the city alone, while Kim is studying away. This day we decided to tour Olympic stadium. The olympics were just a year past, and this place was still a major attraction. As it was the case most of the trip, many of the locals had found an attraction with Dan, as they probably have never seen a white giant before. They probably even thought he could have been Michael Phelps. As we walked to the ticket booth, a couple of guys just could not stop giggling and looking at Dan, and it was apparent that they had wanted to take a picture of him. Dan agreed. Once we were inside the stadium, we thought it would have been funny that if someone had taken a picture with him, they would have to pay up. So after a guy asked to take a picture with Dan, he immediately started requesting for money, first starting at 10, and then working his way down. The Chinese guy was totally getting intimidated, but we just told him we were joking.
Soon after, we made our way to the water cube, where the swimming and diving events were taken place. There were thousands of empty seats around us as we sat down. However, there was a lady who sat right next to Dan, with all the empty seats around, and it was obvious she was posing for a camera from far away. Dan noticed and just moved in closer to her and smiled so that she could have her picture with the white monster.
The olympic park was enormous, as everything else was in Beijing, and we didn't want to venture out to see all of it. We decided to leave and visited Be Hai, which is another lake/park attraction. Dan was feeling ill, so we went back early. Before stopping in, we stopped at that local eatery, and used the power of pointing. We ended up getting 10 piping hot steam buns and 10 potstickers for all about 1 USD. Can't complain about the prices and no need to bargain here.
In the evening, we went out with a bunch of Kim's friends to go shopping at a tourist market place. There were a lot of bargains to be had, and we even built strategies. Kim and I used our Vietnamese to beat the market. I really wish I could have gone back and had more time to pick up some snowboarding pants, as this turned out to be my only chance to shop in Beijing.