Week 26 adieu
Sat. August 9. Return to the dirt market looking for fabric but find none; go to jenny lou’s for groceries and then to hotel pool for a swim. Security is nuts going into hotel and I learn that an American was murdered at the Bell Tower (and ironically my story on NPR that day is partially recorded at the Drum Tower, so I answer a few emails assuring folks that I am not the victim of this bizzarro murder. So un-Chinese….maybe the canary in the mineshaft?
Sunday, Eve and Stephanie take me out to hot pot and yahsow market. I leave them mid-afternoon for a hair cut and then meet Yuxin for dinner at Pure Lotus. Very neat place and we see Yue Saikan and maybe Gloria Vanderbilt? or someone of that ilk at a nearby table. Papparazzi crowd.
Monday go in to NBC but it is slow. Watching the Men’s 4x100 relay with Phelps and amazing close by Lezak -- great to watch with a crowd. Did more research for Brokaw science story and then drove with him from
Tues NBC. Slow…..Sat in on edit of Mark Mullen story. The limitless options for digital effects could make any edit never-ending.
Wednesday August 13.
Up at 5 to head into NBC to watch Nightly go out LIVE. In addition to Brian Williams, Ann Curry and swimming great Rowdy Gaines were also LIVE on the set. A nice time, very laid back crew and talent. Very funny. Brian Williams wondered how Michael Phelps would get through airport security with all those medals around his neck or in his carry on. He said a good producer would be able to get that image, but his staffer reminded him that he didn’t have any good producers….
After that I walked in the humid, milky white haze for an hour around the Olympic Village, but still could not crack the perimeter. Need an NBC person to escort me back in. I watched Phelps pick up two more gold and watched the women’t gymnastics team cave under pressure on the big screen at NBC. It is much better to watch this at NBC in English than at home in Chinese, and I am regretting I had not stayed here for the Opening Ceremonies. Live and learn. After lunch I said my goodbyes to those NBC folks who I worked most closely with and headed home for a nap which never materialized. At I headed out to join Mark and Tingting for a final dinner. We are joined by Terry Fry, Amy Klatzkin and their daughter Ying who published a book a while back. A fellow from
Last Day in
We get all the stuff down to the cab and the skies open up. I give them all a teary hug goodbye and hop in the cab. It is pouring outside and yes, inside too. I am happy to be leaving, but I do feel I am leaving a little of my heart in
I spend my time at the airport writing about Favorite Chinese Places for China Connection magazine and it seems like a fitting way to end my time here. If Mao was 70% good and 30% bad, as all Chinese kids are taught these days, I would give this experience 60% good and 40% not so good. Maybe those numbers will improve over time. Ambassador Nicholas Platt, one of the first diplomats to
We are flying north of