This is the last day to do any of the final things we didn’t get to do on our whole trip to China, so naturally we decided to go to the Window to the World.  Where all of the worlds most beautiful land marks and attractions have been shrunk to fit into an amusement park.  After asking some locals the purpose of this mini-me world the answer was quite logical.  Shenzhen, the city we are staying and where the Window to the World was built, is a very young city.  Construction on the city began only thirty years ago so unlike most of China this area does not have any landmarks to call its own and on to of that the people of Shenzhen rarely get the chance to leave the city and travel the world.  This is the perfect solution, the Window to the World not only Brings in tourists for around China but also allows locals to see some of the wonders of the world they would have never previously been able to see, who needs a passport when you can see the best of the entire world in ONE day??!? (I do)


By the time we got through Paris, Rome, Egypt and Mexico I was a sweaty mess but for some reason people still wanted to take pictures with me.  I think they thought we were hired attractions from the United States, I thought about charging.


After a cold shower and a nap it was time for the model contest back at the fancy international hotel.  Once again we got VIP tickets but I swear some of the NSVIP (Not So Very Important People) had a better view than me.  The contest was true extravagance at its greatest, the models walked the runway, danced, played the drums and even twirled ribbons in the air, talents any prospective model should take note of.  Once the winner was announced it was time to celebrate!


Joe and his friends took Leah and I out to what they called a “Noisy” bar.  It was basically a nightclub but better.  Not only did they have a great mix of western pop, rock and roll and a live karaoke performance every ten minuets but EVERY light in the whole bar was set to the beat.  It kind of felt like a Ruby Tuesdays on crack but it was great fun!


After a few drinks and learning a new dice game to take back to Brooklyn it was time to catch a cab to the hotel to pack and get a couple of hours of sleep.


As much as I like showing my work and talking about my design process there is something that is extremely nerve wrecking about doing a formal presentation about it.  By the time I got to the other fancy hotel fro my presentation I had practiced the speech twice, a surprisingly good amount of times knowing me.  I was brought to me seat, the VIP second row, I’m not sure what would qualify me as a VERY important person, I think it’s the red beard and the fact that I tower over most of the people in the room, and I didn’t even wear my heals today (just kidding mom, I don’t own heals my size). 


The entire time leading up to my time to shine I was expecting the entire audience to turn to me with faces saying, why the HELL aren’t you up on the stage you fat lazy AMERICAN, so even though I couldn’t understand a single thing the host or anyone was saying I listened out for David Ferron and Parsons.  Eventually the guy translating my speech came over to me an warned that I was about to go on, it was nice and cool in there so I was able to wear one of the five blazers I packed for the first time of the trip.


I stared out a little shaky with the first slide but because I had to pause after every slide so the translator could catch up, I had a chance to calm down and stop drooling.  After the first slide the next sixteen went off without a hitch, I remembered the point of each slide and even did some ad lib action here and there.  Although I did not add the personality and jokes I would normally have in a speech, because of the language barrier, I did get applause at the final slide.


After my presentation we ran out to grab a quick bite to eat, I think we had one of my favorite dishes on the whole trip.  It was a baked cauliflower dish and it was THE BOMB, I could have had an entire second order, and no that’s not just because I’m a fat ass, Chris.  By the time we got back the forum was coming to a close and we caught the closing thoughts of the host.  This is when I finally got the looks I was anticipating. 


The host raises his hand points at me while speaking and simultaneously every person and camera was facing me.  Naturally I couldn’t understand a LICK of it, never mind the fact that most of the people staring at me were either giggling or smirking at me.  So I politely looked at the host, smiled and gave him the stare of “I’m smiling right now but if I find out you are trash talking me I WILL BE GOD DAMNED if I’m taking a final photo with you!”


Fortunately I did not need to pull any diva antics, the woman sitting next to me, who was also a speaker and happened to be bilingual, noticed me squirming in my seat and frantically looking around for my translator, so she leaned over.  “Don’t worry, the host is just saying how well dressed and professional you are.  He was expecting a “designer” to be wearing some crazy outfit and to have spiky hair with frosted green tips, and you look like a perfect gentleman.”  So I posed with him for the press.


After some mingling and having someone come up and tell me that they ADMIRE me, we were told to go to room 333 for diner.  I was not exactly sure what was going on in room 333, it sounded like the beginning to a horror movie, but 3 is my lucky number so I went.


What was to follow was the private VIP room and the largest lazy Susan we have encountered the entire trip, and of course it was filled an assortment of savory dishes.  We all toasted to a successful day and had a delicious meal.