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August 4, 2008 – The Silk Market

TIME: 0743

Day 4 down… FINALLY!

Yesterday started just like EVERY OTHER DAY! Breakfast, Internet and then Judo practice. Today at judo it was like yesterday. Isreal took the girls and worked out separately from the boys. Which I like… except for the fact that taking falls for the whole practice is a little boring. An NBC Today Show crew was at the majority of practice. They interviewed Taraje and Valerie. I’m not sure what the clip is going to look like or when they are going to show it, but they were there. So keep your eyes out for that as well.

After taking falls for about an hour and a half, it was time to get lunch. The initial plan was to shower and clean up as fast as we could and eat lunch before going to the silk market. I thought I had to be back at 1700hrs to meet Asanuma Sensei here at BNU. After a quick lunch, I decided to try and call Asanuma Sensei on his cell phone. I got a hold of him and figured things out. I’m now meeting him today at at the front gates and show him around so he can get his guest pass. He’ll be able to get in this building and the training building. I’m excited!

After lunch and a quick phone call, it was time to go to the Silk Market! All 6 of us Hopefuls (plus Bobby), joined Bert, Jason, Nicole and two USA Wrestling Hopefuls we met at BNU – Joe & RC to leave for the market. Since Joe’s already been to the market, he was our own personal tour guide. He showed us the ropes and taught us how to bargain. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The Silk Market was it’s own little world. There were about 5 floors of nothing but hagglers! If you showed just a little bit of interest in something, they would pull you in and wouldn’t let you go until they sold you something. Therefore, if they aren’t giving you the price you want… just walk away and with no doubt, they will pull you back or call you back. If you showed interest in wallets, purses or any high-end merchandise, we would be brought to a back room where there’s no camera… it’s the "back room". The back room that we went to for coach purses and what not was not that great. And the shoes’ "back room" was the basement… but instead of going down there, you just pick out the pair of shoes you want to try and they’d bring it up. The Silk Market was a GREAT experience. I loved it. We are planning on going back.

The funniest thing that happened in the market was when Liggett was looking at Prada wallets, and I was trying to help him… the lady thought I was looking. So when we decided to go check out the shoes, the lady tried to keep my interest. She ended up grabbing my wrist in an effort to keep me there. I tried to get away, and she was actually pulling me back! Michael tried to get in between us to help me get away, but that didn’t work. So I decided to pretend to bite her. She let go… afraid I was actually going to bite her. And the best part of this is that I got a video of the entire event!

Back at BNU, we took about an hour to play with the stuff we bought at the market. Then after some frustration with Michael’s new PSP games, we decided it was time to go eat dinner. It was around 1930hrs. Dinner was delicious. As we finished dinner Joe and Dave (USA Boxing) joined our table and we hung out with them for a little bit. Then guess what we did?? We played Rock Band on Wii. It didn’t last long, just a few songs.

As for today.. I’m not sure what exactly we are doing. I want to go to the Forbidden City within the next few days, but not exactly sure when. Depending on if there’s judo or not on Friday, August 8th, the Hopefuls, plus Bobby, might go on a tour to the Great Wall. I hope there’s no practice so that we can go. It’s pretty far and definitely a full day trip.