Our third day at Tongji University turned out to be no less eventful than the first two. It started with me being driven across town from our hotel to the university, where I was to deliver my lecture on the upcoming presidential election. I am still starstruck enough by all of this that, as I was sitting there watching the skyscrapers whiz by, I couldn't help but think how far that little kid from Rahway had come. A nice thought.
The session over, we all met back up and joined Ms. Lu for an excellent lunch of Inner Mongolian hot pot. Plenty of lamb and assorted other treats to drop into boiling pots of heavily seasoned water.
With such a concentration of domestic and international visitors, the Bund is crawling with hawkers. Not long after our arrival, one pair of salesmen caught Ms. Lu's eyes...these guys who do charcoal sketches of people's faces in just a couple of minutes. Before we knew what was going on, Julie and Z were being whisked to this shady area just off the main promenade and the artists went to work.
A few minutes into the proceedings, a female public security officer came along and tried to move the artists away. I was not sure why this would be the case, given that there was commerce of all kinds going on all around us. But, no matter...as soon as the officer moved along, the artists sat right back down and continued their work. It was only when the officer doubled back a minute or two later, that the whole scene picked up and moved a couple dozen yards down the river. Again, I had no idea why.
As for Julie's artist, he moved down the river a little bit further and finished up his work. He then took out the picture of Z he had been holding and completed that one as well. As all of this drawing was going on, his partner, now minus an intact portfolio, wandered by and watched things wrap up.