Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Condensed Beijing Tour Obama-style

US President Barack Obama has come and gone.

He had a whirlwind of meetings and lavish banquets in Beijing, but managed to squeeze in some sightseeing and family time.

On Monday night in Beijing he got a chance to meet with his half-brother Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo who lives in Shenzhen.

Just before Obama's trip to Asia, Ndesandjo released a novel that is semi-autobiographical, and announced that he would also be writing an autobiography.

Obama got a chance to meet his half-brother for all of five minutes, including a big hug to his half-sister-in-law, a Chinese woman Ndesandjo recently married and is a big Obama fan.

Then yesterday the president spent exactly 30 minutes at the Forbidden City, according ot the Wall Street Journal. Dressed in a worn brown leather bomber jacket, he was whisked into the practically empty grounds of the former imperial palace led by the Forbidden City's museum director Zheng Xinmiao.

They whipped through the Imperial Garden, the Gate of Heavenly Purity, the Hall of Union and Peace, the Hall of the Imperial Palace and finally the Courtyard of Loyal Obedience.

Then 30 minutes after the tour began, Obama arrived at the Gate of Continuing Harmony, wrote a very long message in the VIP visitor's book and thanked Zheng "for a wonderful tour of this magnificent place."

The media joked that today he would run across the Badaling section of the Great Wall -- again in 30 minutes.

But we know Obama can do it because he's pretty fit. Hope those pesky souvenir sellers didn't slow him down.


ks said...

that is the price you pay for when you are a top public political figure.
we always complain having not enough time when we visit places. talk about 30 min for the great wall and the forbidden city each eh?

ks said...
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