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Qingcheng City was a big city in comparison to other second-tier cities, but compared to Donggang City it was only a small one.
Donggang was an international metropolis. It was the national finance and trade center. The turnover capacity of Donggang Harbour had been first place in the world for seven years. Almost all of the world's Top 500 enterprises had an office in this city. Some had even set up an Asian headquarters in the city.
Donggang had a better sport industry than the other cities. Every year it had hundreds of competitions, including international sports events, such as the IAAF Diamond League, FIA Formula 1 World Championship, ATP 1000 Masters, World Snooker Masters, etc. Even the Donggang Football Club was willing to spend a large amount of money to employ world-famous football players and coaches.
The Beikou Athletic Training Center was located in the Beikou District of Donggang City. It used to be called Beikou Village dozens of years ago, with a boundless stretch of farmland. But as rapid economic growth and urban expansion came about, it had turned into a new town. In the last few years especially, housing prices had been skyrocketing. Now it costed at least 50,000 yuan per square meter.
The Beikou Athletic Training Center occupied a large area of land, wide enough for a nice estate. Because every inch of land was worth a lot of money, this place lured many people. However, this training center was the national sports team's, and belonged to General Administration of Sports, which meant that it was a state-owned property. Because of this, most developers stayed away from the difficulty. The Beikou Athletic Training Center was famous for cultivating several world champions, and was regarded as the "Cradle of Athletic Champions." Developers who were powerful enough to buy this place had to think twice about its influence. Therefore, due to all kinds of reasons, this training center stood alone among the skyscrapers, a land of idyllic beauty.
After Dai Li arrived at Donggang Train Station, he transferred trains several times, and finally arrived at the Beikou Athletic Training Center. He saw several reporters waiting beneath a leafy shade, and some fans were looking through the fence with gifts in their hands.
"The Cradle of Athletic Champions!" Dai Li stepped forward to the gatekeeper.
The old gatekeeper glanced at Li, feeling he was too young, and directly refused him entrance. "The training hasn't ended yet. If you are a reporter, go to the leafy shade on the opposite side of the street. If you are a fan of somebody, go to the left."
"Sir, I'm on secondment from the Hanbei Sport Team," said Li.
"Any Invitation letter?" asked the gatekeeper.
"Yes." Li took out the invitation letter.
"Give it to me." The gatekeeper grabbed the letter and read it, then said, "Reporters have all kinds of tricks. Just several days ago somebody used a fake letter to enter the training center with an undercover camera. I see your letter has an official seal, it should be real. Come in!"
The gatekeeper gave the letter back to Li, then let him in.
"Wait here first. Let me call someone to ask." The gatekeeper made a phone call, then told Li to find Director Zhang in the office.
Later, Li met Director Zhang.
"You have arrived early. We require people on loan to come to register next Wednesday, you are here this week," said Director Zhang.
Li smiled with embarrassment.He knew that the registration was on Wednesday, but Coach Xu had asked him to arrive early so that Li could help Feifei lose weight.
Director Zhang continued. "Well, there are lot of things that can't be settled right now due to your early arrival. It is easy to find you a place to live, there are a lot of empty dorms. You can choose a room to move in to. But it will be a little difficult dining-wise. We plan to hand out meal cards together once you all arrive next Wednesday. Even though you are alone here, it's difficult to get your card ready beforehand."
Li understood what Zhang was saying. Zhang was trying to make things easier for everyone. Li didn't really care about the dining fee. He said, "Director Zhang, don't worry, I can handle it myself. Thank you for offering me a place to live."
"OK." Zhang felt a sense of relief. He said straightforwardly, "Go to dormitory complex #2 in the backyard. I will call the dorm keeper, he will arrange everything."
As the best training center in the country, the Beikou Athletic Training Center offered the best facilities, so at least they had nice dorms. As for famous athletes, they would live in a single room with a private bathroom. For outsides like Li, they could only live in a double room with two beds, two combinatorial cabinets and tables, and no private bathroom, but there was a small balcony for hanging clothes.
Once Li finished settling down, it was dusk. He texted Feifei Yu to meet. After half an hour later, Feifei texted back.
"Seven O'clock, Champion's Home second floor, when you come, tell them my name. The address is..."
Restaurant? Aren't athletes allowed to eat outside? Li murmured while searching for the restaurant on the online map. Looks pretty far from here. Three transfers by train. Well, they have a bus. I will take that.
Li didn't want to take the subway again. He chose ground traffic instead. Although it would take longer for him to get there, he could have a look at the city. If he had chosen subway, he could only read window advertisements.
Although Donggang had a well-developed transportation system, the roads were overloaded. That, coupled with the fact that it was rush hour, meant that there were more and more people gathering on the street. Every time the bus stopped, a lot of people got on, while some got off. Li had left early, but when he arrived it was already 6:45 pm.
"Luckily I'm not late." Li walked in the restaurant. A waitress welcomed him.
"Good evening, sir. How many people do you have?" The waitress asked with a professional smile.
"My friend is waiting on the second floor." Li thought to himself for a second. He didn't want to give out Feifei Yu's name. She was a famous person. He didn't want to show off.
"My friend's family name is Yu," said Li.
"Are you Feifei's guest?" Apparently the waitress already knew about Feifei Yu. She smiled, gave Li a "please" gesture, and said, "Please come with me."
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