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Experiencing Beijing

With a rare opportunity to stay in a location for more than one day, the White House team gets a change to explore Beijing... and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answers the age-old question: "What did you bring me from your trip?"

There is a palpable sense of excitement among the staff as we mill around the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, eagerly awaiting the return of the motorcade. Once we load in, it’s straight to that most Chinese of tourist attractions, the Great Wall of China. Folks look ready to go. Everyone is in warm clothes and sensible shoes, heeding the warnings of those already at the site in Badaling.

It’s been a long couple of days for everyone here in Beijing, but the fact that we've been in one place for more than a day, has meant that folks have been able to get out a little more to see this amazing city, eat some food, see some sights. Everyone is enjoying a little something in Beijing.

Most importantly, people have had time to purchase an answer to that age-old question: “What did you bring me from your trip?"

In his update, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reveals his answer, using it as a prop. You’ll see, we don’t want to ruin the surprise.


If you ever want to get one of your own, go to the third floor of the Silk Market building in downtown Beijing, scoff at the given price, offer a small fraction of the stated amount, and slowly walk away allowing the merchant to stop you from leaving with a reasonable counter offer. The shopkeep is tough, but you can be too.

Arun Chaudhary is the official White House videographer