My last morning in Nanjing I arrived at the park at about 6:30am and practiced on my own for 30 minutes, moving slowly through the new form, and trying to simply get the postures and choreography. I was desperately sore. The park was much more empty than on the weekend days, and I practiced next to a group of grandma's practicing a choreographed tai ji fan form set to Chinese pop music.
Shifu showed up alone and we began practicing. Thankfully, he was much more relaxed in our stances. Within an hour I had the rest of the form, faster than he thought I would have it. I ran through it many more times, and he would make small corrections each time. A couple of his older students showed up to watch and offer encouragement. Of course, the parade of onlookers continued, and Shifu continued to showoff the foreigner that had learned the entire Chen broadsword form in 3 days. Every time he would say "3 days", the Chinese faces would look astonished, and they would clap when I finished.
By 8:45am Shifu felt I had it, so he called Li who had offered to drive me to the airport. To my surprise Shifu made the drive with us, the two of us falling asleep on the way. Li often commented on the high quality of Chinese cars, and the miserable skill of Chinese drivers. When we got to the airport I offered my Li some money and he said, "no you are my brother now, I can't accept." Shifu smiled, both at my gesture, and Li's reaction and understanding of gong fu etiquette and family. They presented me with a gift, small tai ji figures with shot glasses on top of their heads. Hinting at was was to come on my next visit. We hugged, took pictures, and I vowed to return in the spring to see my new teacher, and gong fu brothers and sisters. I really hope to see Gao Shifu again, to practice, thank him for all he has shown me, and of course for giving me this opportunity to study with his teacher.