- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sir Scribble was a good boy for exactly one day. Given the opportunity to experience the downtown area of this city of nearly 17 million Monday, he took full advantage.

After a long day holed up at the media center, Scrib joined a D.C. colleague and three co-workers on a splendid adventure, spearheaded by a Beijing couple - one who grew up in Philadelphia, the other who is working for NBC.

First up was a great dinner - family style - that included spicy chicken, pineapple-flavored rice, jumbo shrimp and a kind of beef (shaped like a giant Italian sausage) … and came on a stick. Those who remember the Daytona 500 remember how Scrib likes any kind of food on a stick.

Following dinner, it was off to Partyland, a karaoke club that puts groups in their own rooms to belt out hits. Scrib got applause after keeping up with Anthony Kiedis on “Dani California.” Scrib was introduced to a new libation by his tour guides: Johnnie Walker Black mixed with green tea on the rocks. Yummy. Partyland’s only negative - it wouldn’t take international credit cards.

cInteresting situation developing at the Main Press Center. A couple of U.S. newspapers are either slow to load on the Internet or not available at all. The Washington Times site loads perfectly, though.

cScrib’s cab luck lasted five rides. On the way back from one hotel to the main quarters last night, the driver got turned around to the point where Scrib just said, “MPC.” Dropped off at the Main Press Center, a shuttle bus was quickly procured.

cThe request of the front desk staff fell on deaf ears. Like a lot of hotels, Scrib’s crib has a map of the world and various times. The Beijing time is right. The New York time is not. They have New York City 11 hours behind Beijing, not 12.

cThe U.S. Olympic team press conferences got into full swing Monday with the Greco-Roman wrestling team. Scrib only can hope the rest of the dog and pony shows are as entertaining. The six-wrestler group was insightful and their coaches expressive. Scrib thinks that Phelps guy won’t be that way later in the week.

Ryan O’Halloran

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