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Nov 9, 2009
Weekend of firsts: Zhao Bandi ...and his Panda.
More information about Zhao and his trip to Scottsdale Fashion Week 2009 in this article from www.southwestflair.com HERE.
On Friday night my buddy invited me to Scottsdale Fashion week. Out of work and never knowing who I might meet I said sure!
While traveling in Beijing, China my friend met a guy named Zhao. Turns out he is an extremely famous painter and fashion designer in his home country. He got him to come to Arizona for his first ever U.S. show. We went into the big tent and watched his show which is infused with Panda motifs in every way imaginable.
Afterward we went to Cowboy Ciao's and hung out. Zhao travels with two assistants, both of which spoke some English. Zhao is actually pretty good at English although things like travel plans proved to be interesting to coordinate.
On Sunday I drove them up to Montezuma's Castle, Sedona, and then on to Jerome. I think they really liked Arizona.
Zhao walks around with the symbol of his art and the symbol of China, a Panda. Everywhere we went, the Panda went. I think people got a kick out of it.
Here we are coming down Schnebly Hill Road and stopping for a photo session. The Panda bears seen here Zhao designed for the Beijing Olympics.
Don't jump Panda.
Some say this is what Governor Arnold would prefer over a Hummer if they were still made. Others say this is what the racecar driver "The Stig" takes to track day. All I know is that we call it "The Dustbuster."
It's a lonely life as a Panda in Sedona.
We headed up to Jerome and checked out many of the artists shops. They loved seeing all the art because both Zhao and his assistants also practice painting in addition to clothing design.
After we got back into Scottsdale we set up a flight for Zhao and his friends to Las Vegas for a couple nights!
It was certainly a weekend of firsts for me. I'm not the go out type, especially not to a fashion week, but I'm glad I did and here is why.
In every single country I've been to in my travels some stranger has risen from the crowd to help me. Whether it was directions to the correct Japanese train headed to Hiroshima or an Egyptian cab driver taking a whole day off to show me his town, all the while refusing payment, they've all done more than anyone could ask to make a strangers trip better.
This was my turn to take someone from another land around my town and make their trip maybe just a little bit better.