I found Nate and David when the group got shoulder-to-shoulder. This is me calmin' me down.
Before the wall got too crowded. :) Behind me you can faintly see the "One World One Dream" sign.
Close up of peoples' names carved into the wall
As you can see, there is an obscene number of other people here. It took 20 minutes for us to reach that curve of the wall in the background from where this photo was taken (above). After realizing how ridiculous it was, a small group of us decided to turn back because the crazy parasols EVERYWHERE were really crampin' our style. Once we reached the exit, however, we were forced by a red army guard to stay on the Great Wall; the presidente de Mexico was preparing to exit his section of the wall and as a security precaution, we were to stay put.
Truth be told, I understood this but I was quite angry; no one informed me that the president of Mexico was in attendance and this would potentially cause a delay in my exit. The ONLY reason I minded was because--well, did you SEE the crazy amount of people on this wall? People were trying to leave, could not, became frustrated, began yelling, pushing--it was almost scary.
I had to calm myself down; I did panic just a little bit in this situation because it was the closet to being lost in a crowd, with crowd mind-set, that I've ever been. Everyone learns something while studying abroad, though, and I suppose this was one of those times that I can take an opportunity to evaluate myself; I learned how to handle myself in a crowd, if it gets nuts (thankfully, this did not). All I did was stand near to a couple of friends, smiled a bit, and took photos of areas far away to concentrate on something else. :)
During the Ambassadors Conference last spring, a speaker mentioned that if you are stuck in a crowd which is all trying to filter through the same exit in a frantic hurry, you should first get to the wall and THEN go toward the exit; crowd studies show that those people who are closet to the sides of a place (ie touching a wall) reach the exit before those who are crammed in the middle (ie touching other people, but not a wall) because they tend to not get pushed back as easily and can edge themselves forward more.
Just so you all know--I tried it. It worked.
Not everyone can say they were stuck on the Great Wall because the presidente de Mexico was exiting it.
Well I can.