I was shocked when the plane actually took off - but take off we did and 40 minutes later I arrived at the Beijing Airport. I'm not as brave or friendly as B so I was stuck purchasing a phone card to call C's cell phone. She and E were stuck in the notorious Beijing traffic so I waited in the coffee shop and caught up with my China saga.
Just as I was about to make another phone call they came in to greet me full of unnecessary apologies. It was wonderful to see two of the girls who had accompanied me last year to the Beijing Orphanage, and feel comfortable that all would be taken care of. On our way to the city we discussed our plan for the day and tomorrow. They are both currently unemployed so they are available to spend the afternoon shopping for the orphanage and do some personal gift shopping as well.
We drove by taxi to the other side of the city near the Zoo to a shopping mall. The store was more of a "zoo" than the one containing the animals! We spent almost 3 hours finding and completing the purchases. It was arduous and tiring as their negotiations and indecision finally led them to have me sit down so the "price" could be brought down even more without a foreigner present.
We returned to the hotel and I napped and waited for the arrival of S and J who also were stuck in the "jam" of traffic. We finally headed out for a delicious dinner of Peking Duck. A real treat for the two of them and D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S for me!