A disappointing endeavor to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Obama

A fleet of luxury cars are leaving Second High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University, with one of them, most likely, carrying Mrs. Obama. Photo: Ding Yi/Sino-US.com

On March 21, the second day of her China visit, US First Lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to visit the prestigious Second High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University, where she was to interact with Chinese and American teachers and students, advocate the value of education and discuss study abroad opportunities.

I thought this presented a golden opportunity to get a glimpse of Mrs. Obama with my own eyes. I promptly reached the Qinghe campus around the time of her scheduled visit, only to be told that it was the Xicheng campus of the school that was to host the First Lady.

When I reached the Xicheng campus, I found that the front gate was heavily guarded and surrounded by
many onlookers and reporters, but the traffic leading to the school was not strictly controlled, with pedestrians allowed to freely walk past the school's front gate.

While some onlookers were confused about what was happening at the school, some came with preparations. A young girl holding a camera in her hands delightedly said, "I came here for a handshake with Michelle." Behind me, a group of people, old and young, were talking about their first impressions of the First Lady.

After a while, the police started to disperse the crowd, which were told not to gather in the front of the school gate. I knew that Mrs. Obama might turn up. But what I instead saw was a fleet of luxury cars leaving the campus, with one of them, most likely, carrying Mrs. Obama.

An American student who has studied Chinese for more than a year in the high school later revealed to me that Mrs. Obama visited their classroom and a calligraphy class where she was taught how to write Chinese character "yong" (meaning "forever" in English).

Now I have to wait to see if I have any luck in seeing the First Lady in Xian, her next stop, where I am headed now.

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