Today was a bit anti-climactic. It was even more apparent that a team member was missing since we had more free time to hang-out with one another. It was the first morning since the morning after I arrived in China that I was able to sleep in. the group meet in the lobby at 11:00 to go to the Pearl Market again; the only thing I purchased was a inside-painted glass ball for my mom. I was tired and didn’t feel like haggling, so I only got the price down to about half the original value. Everyone except Prof. Lyles went to Silk Row in the afternoon but I didn’t see anything worth buying. We stopped by a DVD store as we walked back to the hotel. There were illegal movies everywhere, some of which were released in the theaters in the US just a couple of days before. I was very tempted to purchase the Band of Brother box set for $12,50 but didn’t felt like I was being dishonest. I did buy a copy of Fahrenheit 9/11 as a practical joke for my inlaws; Michael Moore said he didn’t care about copyright laws anyway.
We went to a restaurant inside a historic building in park near the Forbidden City. I was another new pallet of foods, the most notable of which was Camel Paw. It wasn’t too bad but had the slight suggestion of smelly horse or camel. I wouldn’t have it on a regular basis. The Chinese hamburgers were a tasty surprise.<>I said my goodbyes to Brian. He is such a nice guy and thanked me for all of my work with the presentation in Dalian. It took me back a bit and I didn’t even have a chance to thank him for everything he did to keep the group together, focused, and upbeat. Not to mention the fact he basically gave up his room for team meetings. Everyone else met for a quick drink in the bar. We talked for about 20 minutes as most of us sipped Sprite. I said goodbye to Doug, good night to everyone else, and got to bed as early as possible. I wanted to be well rested for my 30+ hour travel day tomorrow.