Just after Valentine’s Day, an Iowa hotel will play host to an odd couple of groups at the same time.
On February 15 and 16, the downtown Marriott Hotel in Des Moines will house the next president of China, Xi Jinping, and his delegation, as well as wrestlers and fans attending the Iowa high school wrestling tournament. It’s possible Chyna will be the only person not weirded out by the mix.
The Des Moines Register has more on the odd overlap:
The Chinese delegation will include 160 to 200 people, said Kathy Hill of the state’s International Trade Office. No itinerary is set yet. Time magazine suspects that agriculture will be a big part of the agenda.
The Chinese delegation will fill several hundred rooms at the 417-room Marriott. Terry McLane, general manager of the hotel, declined to give a specific number. But he said hotel officials have worked to balance the Chinese security concerns with the need to find room for fans and participants of the Iowa high school wrestling tournament, which will be held that same week.
“There was concern about how the two groups would blend together,” McLane said, sounding like a diplomat. He said hotel officials have assured the foreign visitors that all the proper protocols will be followed to keep dignitaries safe – and keep a distance between the two groups.
This recipe for hilarity will end up in one of three ways: a great reality miniseries, a riveting documentary full of life lessons or a Franz Ferdinand-type incident that kicks off World War III.
For the sake of U.S.-Sino diplomacy, hopefully nobody gives Xi Jinping a “butt drag.”
One thing’s for sure: The Chinese delegation, in all likelihood not keen on the custom of touching, will return home thinking odd things about these very physical, almost homoerotic American youngsters.
We’ll see whether the hotel employs a very strict “no touching” policy…