The afternoon of our third day in Beijing included visits to the Beijing Olympic Park and the Pearl Market. At the Olympic Park we saw the Bird's Nest which held 91,000 people during the 2008 olympics opening ceremony. It has since been scaled back to 80,000 seats but still stands as a very impressive stadium. The impressive design, size and nature of the stadium makes a statement about the pride and national spirit that China built into the structures when they hosted their first olympic games in 2008. I believe this was a great opportunity for them to display to the world that they too can be host to the greatest athletic competition in the world, and in 1st class fashion.
I also learned more techniques of shopping at the Pearl Market today. Before entering the market it is best to have an idea of what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. I also observed that merchants will attempt to get you to buy whatever it is that they may be selling. Browsing is difficult to do because if you show an interest in a product, which can be as subtle as looking at it, the merchant will attempt to convince you that you need to buy it. You have to be smart about bargaining to a price that is fair as the sticker price on almost every item is way too high.