Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to Normal... Almost

After breathing a collective sigh of relief with the end of the Olympics, Beijing and its people went back to business as usual. Well, almost.

Half the cars are still banned off the roads, but the restrictions were loosened in the fifth and sixth ring roads.

A friend noticed a Uighur selling trinkets on the street and some places roasting chuan, or meat kebabs on outdoor barbecues. For him it was a good sign things were slowly getting back to normality.

The Beijing 2008 and "One World, One Dream" signs are still up with the Paralympics coming in 10 days.

Most of the athletes and journalists have left, but a few are still hanging out in the city. They are clearly visible with yellow accreditation cards around their necks like dog tags.

These cards give them a free pass around Beijing's sights -- and one joked he would have seen more if he had time to go see famous landmarks instead of covering the Games.

But in the next week or so the capital will be hosting a new set of guests, ones that will require more assistance and really test Beijing's ability to host a large number of disabled people.

In the time I've been here, I've hardly seen anyone in a wheelchair or with physical disabilities here because they find the city inaccessible.

Hopefully the Paralympics will push greater awareness to this group of people who are eager to contribute to society -- if society would let them.

1 comment:

ks said...

all chinese people will have to work hard to pay for the expenditure of this olympiad. but it is worth evey penny of it.