The closing ceremonies took a long time. They had the final match for each division in Sanshou, plus a medal ceremony between every third match. It just dragged on forever. By the time we were done I was exhausted. A couple of interesting events happed during this otherwise boring time.
We had a US Taolu team meeting. During which we discussed the on goings that could have been seriously detrimental to the team. ‘Could’ have been, but they weren’t so there was nothing but a few really annoyed people. Painful, but not bad.
Stephon was asked by coach to bring something back for her. He was assured this was little. We had to wait until after everything was finished before he could go get it. This little object ultimately wound up taking up half the huge suitcase and caused us to be overweight leaving Vietnam. However we were not charged for it, it was just frustrating. Again, involved annoyed people but didn’t wind up bad.
I had been talking all week how I wanted one of the banners that hung in and around the arena. I noticed some of the boys from Turkmenistan were taking them all down. I immediately ran up and investigated, hoping to get one for my self. As I reached the top on the boys ran by, yanked it down and threw it at me saying “Take it.” How happy is that? I don’t even think I stole it, since that boy gave it to me. Not sure quite how that works since I saw him take it down. I don’t even think the Vietnam federation is annoyed, because when are they going to use 8th WWC banners again?
Sarah distributed flyers for the after party she was hosting. Since the Vietnam Federation didn’t see to host any sort of afterparty or banquet Sarah (and I am guessing her father) took it upon herself to host one. They rented out the restaurant on the top floor of the Sunny Hotel. Not the nicest place, but for something like $500 they had the room for most of the night and a bunch of free drinks.
During the afore mentioned after party I went up and hung out for a little while—while Stephon was retrieving the afore mentioned ‘little’ package. Since I was tired I didn’t get around to being social with a lot of the new people I had met. Honestly, I spent most of my time talking to Jordana and Paula about being an expectant father. (Wait, is this the first time I mentioned it on this blog? I think so. Kelly and I are expecting. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it here because we were not telling people yet. I guess we are now.) I thought it was a little strange that I was talking about vast amounts of responsibility when nearly everyone around me was drinking them selves into very uncomfortable plane rides the next day. Eventually I went down, made sure I was completely packed and crashed. I remember being awoken around 5 or so in the morning to yells of “Where’s the next party! Woo!” and thinking I was happy I was getting a few hours of sleep.
We were downstairs early for the bus, eventually Joana and her mom showed up and we were off to the airport. Once we were on our way, and some of the grogginess finally cleared we realized that Tiff was supposed to be on our flight. I sorta panicked, we got the driver to call someone, and everyone seemed to think things were under control. I let the grogginess take over again. Luckily we saw her show up at the airport, appearing properly groggy. I made a point to make sure she was OK getting through border control and customs in Guangzhou and Beijing. Not that we were doing that much better, we tried to skip that stuff in Beijing. Luckily they let us back on the skyway from the terminal and were able to take the tram to the luggage collection adventure.
We met Marc at the Beijing airport. We got in line for a cab. They got in and left. WE were getting in when the cabbie said no. He didn’t like the long weapons. I should have just put them in and talked about it once I was finished. They made us take a freekin mini bus, and wanted 300 freekin kuai. We argued, but he was the only one, and didn’t budge. Even once we got to Shichahai, he made Stephon pay him the 20 kuai toll. I thought we shoulda walked on him, but I think Stephon was intimidated and I can understand. Strange country, you won’t want to rip someone off and get mixed up with the cops. Even thought I think if the cops were involved they would have arrested the driver for charging 300 kuai for a 70 kuai trip. I was pissed. Right off the plane in Beijing, we were taken.
The hotel at Shichahai was n-i-c-e. Everything around it was so new and different. Hohai, the area next to the school, was now this hot new bar scene. None of that was there before. Of course when Stephon and I tried to go get dinner I wanted to go to this little restaurant that I liked so much from last time. But it was gone. Replaced with some scary meat pie something. We didn’t go in. We wandered for a wile and tried this place across the street from KFC where we got jaiozi and tang su li ji. Stephon didn’t like the tangsu li ji. I did. Sweet and tangy, and deep fried to happiness.
After eating we went back and crashed. Boom.