Saturday, August 2, 2008
Catching Pre-Show Glitter
Tonight there was another dress rehearsal for the opening ceremonies at the National Stadium or Bird's Nest.
People gathered as close as they could to the steel structure, which glows red at night, while the National Aquatic Center or Water Cube displayed a continuous colourful array of blues, mauves and pinks.
Another prominent structure nearby, though no where large in size, is the Ling Long Pavilion, where a few lucky broadcasters have their TV studios there. And at night these diamond-shaped pods are also lit up in crazy brite-light colours.
And right at 8pm, several fireworks went off, but it was a while again before more were released into the dark sky which was clear.
There was the constant presence of two helicopters that seemed to sweep the aerospace before giving the all-clear to set off more fireworks.
When I thought it was all over, I tried to find a taxi which was quite difficult, with hardly any available in sight, or already taken. Meanwhile tons of people were sitting on roadside curbs or standing around waiting for more fireworks action.
After I finally got into a taxi, it took us forever to go several blocks to the Fourth Ring Road. There were tons of buses and cars sandwiched in between. We inched along for ages. I wondered if this is already what it's like with half the cars off the roads, what is it going to be like when the Olympics are on less than a week from now?
As soon as we made it onto the Fourth Ring Road the road was practically clear. It was such a contrast to the giant jam we were in earlier.
The traffic approaching the Bird's Nest is really bad and it's only going to get worse. I wonder if transport officials realize this or is it going to take more complaints from foreign journalists to address the issue?
Nevertheless, the short bursts of fireworks I saw were fantastic and can only imagine how it'll look like on the day we've all been waiting for, for the past seven years...