I came downstairs today to a red carpet lined by staff at the Shangri-la Hotel, and I asked who's coming? and one of the staff said the King. he was actually leaving, or maybe it was his wife? it was hard to understand what they said. I heard clapping then a group was whisked outside to the awaiting cars. the staff then stood and waved good-bye to the cars. then they came inside, clapped briefly - almost as a sigh of relief that things had gone well. the red carpet was rolled up and things returned to normal in the hotel. you could hear a distinct change in the sounds - whilst everyone was waiting for the President (Hu Jintao - he's not the King) there was a tenseness / anxiousness in the air and everyone was very quiet. afterwards, there were loud conversations as people greeted each other and congratulated one another. the children were allowed to run around again too
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