Tuesday, 12 August 2008

8 Reasons why I don't want to be in Beijing during the Olympics

I am sitting in the South of Italy, sea view and sunset.
And I think of Beijing - every day.

Especially since August the 8.
The TV is on. Italians are winning quiet some medals!

Of course, how can I not think of my hometown of 3 years?!

People ask me, if I miss Beijing?

No. I think it is some internal protection that does not allow me to be emotional about it. That's why it is a clear and fast: No.

People ask me, wheather I would like to be in Beijing right now?
During the Olympic events?

Again: No.

And here are 8 reasons for my NO:

1) August always was said to be the worst month of the year - climate wise.
Hot and humid. Rains. Grey skies.

2) Beijing right now is not the Beijing how it was before and how it will be after the Games. It is not authentic.

3) There is so much security that moving around is less easy and less fun.

4) It is holiday time for expats and Chinese but going to a park with your kids would be difficult, unless you can ride your bike to the park. Transportation is an issue, you can use your car only every second day and most taxi will all be taken and subways will be overcrowded.

5) Some of the fun bars and restaurants were said to have to closed down during the Games. Some of them near the worker stadium for security reason. So maybe less fun at night.

6) I am afraid of crowds. You never know in those crazy days. It is just better to avoid crowds to be on the save side... of course you could always be hit by the schoolbus (but not in August)

7) Similar to point 6) but more clear: I am afraid of terr*rist att@cs. I have seen a picture of the military rockets they have next to the National Stadium to shoot down any airplane - just in case.

8) I don't enjoy the political discussions / demonstrations before and during the games, where some people of other countries tried to express their thoughts in front of the - mainly foreign - media. I think it is an offense to all Chinese people. It is a small group of reigning people that are to blame and not the entire people of China.

Beijing will change to normal again in October.

The Opening Ceremony I saw on TV. But only the entrance of some nations. I had an dentist appointment, unfortunately, it was not planned, but it was excactly at August 8, 8pm Beijing time. A painful appointment.

I am in Beijing with my thoughts.
I am thinking of my expat friends that have decided to stay for the Olympics. I hope they enjoy this time. And thinking of our Chinese friends, hoping they are doing fine.

And as I said before, I hope for peaceful Games until the very last day.


Qi said...

Totally agree with your points.

I used to take a cab home after 11pm on Friday night while in univ, still got caught by traffic as soon as I reached the 2nd ring road.

For the craze of Olympics and other reasons, my next trip to Beijing can only happen in 2009. Meanwhile, I was surprised to find how similar Beijing's tube map is to London's. Increasingly it's becoming a different city from the one I knew.

Rina said...

It's interesting that you don't like tighter security since you also mention about not being safe in crowds. I would think tighter security means less danger, not?

Anyway, it's been interesting to read your experience in China especially the every-other-day car drive. I heard that on the news even way before the Olympics started. I thought it was too much not being able to drive your car whenever you want it. But I guess they were looking for a quick solution.

- Suzie - said...

I don't like crowds in general. Not a crowded town, not a crowded event, and even not a crowded house.

So if there are less visitors in Beijing, the security level can get back to normal again. I would appreciate both.

The car restriction was supposed to start in April but it was rejected somehow. Then it started on July 20 and will end October 20, after the paraolympics, if my information is correct.

Princess Haiku said...

You are right that it must be stressful to be in Beijing right now.

Are you going back to Beijing? If you switch to a new blog be sure to let me know.

- Suzie - said...

Princess, that's so sweet of you. But I will not open uo a new blog. Two are enough!! I will continue for a bit with Beijing Notebook. I have still so much to think and write about.

I will go back to visit Beijing. I have promised this to my son (5 y.) who is missing his Chinese friend for 3 years. But it will probably not be this year.

Also we - my son and I - want to go on with learning Chinese. Lets see how long we will keep up with that goal.

Lil' Boozie said...

Hi Suzie-

I came across your blog on My Marrakesh, and find your posts very interesting. This one in particular. I've never been to Beijing, but I don't think I'd have liked to have been there during the Olympics either. In addition to my [opposite of] love for crowds, the few terrible tales that I did hear of during this two week span were horrific.. to say the least.

Besides, sunset in Italy sounds like a pretty spectacular alternative :).

-Lil' Boozie
(a.k.a. Suz)


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