Thursday, June 19, 2008

50 More Days to Go

Today marks 50 more days before the start of the Olympics.

Everyone was talking about it.

On radio shows in English and Chinese, radio hosts kept mentioning it and wondering aloud on the airwaves if the city was ready for the Games.

Olympic signs are being put up around the streets with arrows pointing to where venues are, and buses are becoming more bilingual with dark blue stickers with white letters indicating where passengers get on and off and how much the bus fare is. Some even post the bus route which is handy for someone like me.

It looks like it's all coming together.

However, Beijing Olympic organizers announced there were still one million Games tickets still not sold, mostly for the football or soccer tournaments in the other host cities, Tianjin, Shanghai, Qinhuangdao and Shenyang.

And I thought the whole country was mad for the Olympics?

Perhaps they're all in Beijing.

In fact many people I know didn't even bother trying their luck in the online ticket lottery which I find bizarre. Perhaps they didn't want to set themselves up for disappointment, but why not at least try, which is what I did.

And in the end I got tickets to three events.

A handbook of English translations of Chinese dishes has been published, featuring things like Moo Shu Pork, sauteed pork with egg and black fungus wrapped in thin pancakes; and Kung Pao Chicken instead of "Government-abused Chicken".

Anti-terrorism drills have been conducted simulating chemical explosions and more sniffer dogs brought into the capital to thwart any suspicious activity.

The new smoking regulations has made dining a lot more palatable, while the plastic bag ban is still taking root, but at least the use of the bags has significantly decreased.

Now if only there was something they could do about the air.

Today was so humid, the air was thick and overcast.

After work some of my colleagues and I played tennis and we were already sweating after a few minutes of hitting balls. The sweat kept pouring down my face and with hardly a breeze around, I could only cool down by drinking some cold water.

It was supposed to rain today but so far nothing happened.

What Beijing really needs, as one of my coworkers says, is a really good rain to wash the city clean. That would make everything all shiny and clean for the Games.

Wonder if the government can make that happen...

1 comment:

ks said...

rain making technology is well known. china is confident to have this happen prior to the games. hope they are right. hope the weather will cooperarate.