Fwd: Preset pool at National Convention Center for Gala Dinner in VTE - arrives, meeting with someone we can't see

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Begin forwarded message:

From: "Amling, Alicia" >
Date: September 7, 2016 at 8:57:37 PM GMT+7
To: "xxx@email.com" >
Cc: "xxx@email.com" >, "xxx@email.com" >
Subject: Preset pool at National Convention Center for Gala Dinner in VTE - arrives, meeting with someone we can't see

At 8:25p local, POTUS arrived dressed in a deep turquoise silk shirt with a high-ish collar and black slacks. He entered and walked swiftly down the red carpet, not stopping to pass go or gesture to anyone along the way. The massive screen at the end of the red carpet projected his face, the US flag and his name. At the screen he turned right down a hallway, even though the dinner is to the left. No word on what it is he's doing down the right hallway.

The convention center was built a few years back, with generous help from the Chinese, according to a sign in a seating area in the grand hallway.

Picture any city's shiny new convention center and add some Southeast Asian elements and you'll see this place in your mind. The building is lit with fluorescents, but that doesn't detract from the arching pagoda-type ceiling, which is quite attractive. The ceiling has dark wood slats with white slats spaced evenly to create subtle stripes covering the industrial elements above it. The floors are large, whiteish granite squares. These floors are topped with a long bright red carpet leading to a huge electronic screen with the ASEAN logo and "gala dinner" announcing the event.

PM Modi was the first to arrive around 6:00, followed by Ban Ki Moon and later New Zealand's Prime Minister, attired in a bright dragonfly green silk shirt. We spotted other delegations, some of whom came and left, presumably returning another way for the dinner.

During the first hour and a half there were delegations your pooler and immediate companions didn't recognize crisscrossing the red carpet to get from one side of the building to the other. It seemed as if bilateral meetings and meetings of all types were taking place, with foreign journalists eagerly crowding the hallways and being reminded to keep room in the hallway for leaders to pass.

Duterte passed by our position around 7:35.

Alicia

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