Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This has little to do with the team's prospects. It has everything to do with its coach, Beijing native "Jenny" Lang Ping, an icon in Chinese culture for leading China to an unexpected gold medal at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. (source)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
But the truth is there are — and in all matches. Supply certainly isn't meeting demand.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I am typing to you from my hostel just outside Tiananmen Square. I woke up early today and took a stroll though the Square, snappng pictures of all the festivities and such, trying not to catch the eye of the constantly patrolling military soldiers, dressed in olive green, white gloves, scanning the crowd for suspicious persons. This sight is much different from my previous visit to the Square in January; there are eleborate flower decorations and the fountains are all turned on, spraying up int othe air around the large framed (famous) picture of Mao hung above the entrance to the Forbidden City. The majority of the crowd is Chinese - which makes perfect sense as I understand this Olympics is geared for domestic consumption - but a few American accents can be detected, which is nice to hear in a place 8000 miles away from the red, white, and blue.
The highlights of the last few days have been both hot and cold. I managed to trade away my beach volleyball ticket to a fellow American at my hostel (strangely, he was born on the same day as me - 8/8/82 - and is from Buffalo, NY) for a ticket to enter the Bird's Nest National Stadium, probably the most impressive piece of architecture in Beijing, for a few track and field events. This trade had other motives as well, due to Chinese security denying vistors admittance to the Olympic Village unless he/she has a ticket for a sport that takes place within its boundries. This has infuriated many Europeans staying at my hostel, who came thousands of miles to see the Bird's Nest (and burning above, the Olympic flame) and now can only see it from the highway. One New Zealander who had visited 2 previous Olympic Games said that this was the strangest restriction he has ever experienced at a city hosting the Games - "why deny people into the place where the Olympics is actually happening?! I could have done this from home in front of the television."
But that isn't the worst story yet. The biggest problem for foreigners in Beijing at the moment is acquiring tickets to the games they want to attend. If you notice from your television, there are hundreds of seats open during the Games, espcially during matches where China is not playing. The reason for this is many Chinese (and a few foreigners) have bought up all the tickets in hopes they can sell them at higher prices. Unfortunately, for thousands of foreigners that came to Beijing in hopes of purchsing a ticket to a sport, for exmaple as simple as Rowing, they get a "SOLD OUT" message on the official Olympic ticket site. All the tickets are being sold for higher prices, but the people can't find them. So, the real losers are the ticket sellers, who are running out of time by posting their inflated tickets on sites like CraigsList, which many foreigners have never heard of. It's a shame for everyone...especially for me, who is still unsuccessful in finding a baseball ticket.
But Ryan and I were able to acquire some football tickets, which we found on CraigsList by a Canadian who didn't want to make a profit when he realized he was running out of time to sell them. We met in a Beijing subway station, and as if we were passing off drugs or something, we made the exchange. It was really strange, but successful, and so in a few days, we will be watching Italy vs. Cameroon and Australia vs. CIV. 150 RMB in Section A (front row, center - about 25 bucks/ticket).
But otherwise, Beijing has been great. I wasn't in central Beijing when this incident occurred (Thank God!) because I was in a northern section of the city drinking Japanese saki with Chinese "gangstas". And that's where that story ends...
Last night, Ryan and I watched the USA destroy China in basketball, which felt good, espcially since a majority of our points were dunks. I lost a bet to him, however, because I (foolishly) took a 13-point spread - I thought Yao Ming was as good as China led me to believe - and the game ended with a 31 point annihilation. President Bush was there, who is pretty much hated by every Beijing person I meet (for misguided reasons, of course). At least we always have something to take about....
I haven't seen any blue skies in Beijing yet, and according to BBC, T-storms are expected for the next 4 days.
All for now. As a supplement, this NYT article is the best piece of writing I have read on China in the last year. It's exactly how I feel, but couldn't put my finger on until now.
Woman's field hockey tomorrow evening! Are you as pumped as much as I am!? ;-)
I love and miss you all,
:Lan Mai Fei
Friday, August 8, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
"Because she thinks he's handsome."
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Given that hope, the I.O.C. would almost certainly choose Beijing again if it had the chance at a do-over. "It's a risk worth taking.