four days….

August 4th, 2008

Four days to go and we’re back to thick, humid, turgid crap for air. I really hope it rains before Friday. And with southerly winds, you know we’re getting all the airborne crud from Baoding. Winds? Not quite. Pathetic attempts at breaths of wind today, coming from the south. And yesterday evening on a quick run to our neighbourhood Jingkelong, it seemed like a souwester, and strong enough for me to actually consider it a breeze. Southwester, what’s southwest of Beijing? Shijiazhuang, and further afield Taiyuan and Linfen. So you know this air ain’t good. I’ve got the fan turned on max to try and stop me from melting, I’ll probably turn the aircon on for a couple of hours before lzh comes home to dry the place out and take the temperature down to something reasonable. Well, the aircon can’t quite decide whether it’s 30 or 31 inside, so the temperature’s not too high, but with this humidity it’s far from comfortable if you stray outside of that small area the fan keeps bearable.

lzh tells me The Torch passes through Chaoyang on the 6th and Yanqing on the 7th. I think it’s only fitting that Beijing’s best county gets the torch on the last day before the games. Well, I can’t go see it in Yanqing, but perhaps I might go see the 热闹 on the 6th. Perhaps.

But what to do on Friday? A trip up to the Olympic Green is out of the question. Probably just watch the opening ceremony on TV. I’m actually really curious to see what Zhang Yimou has prepared for us. lzh suggested it may well be a composite of his latest few films. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. If so, it would be a visually luxurious feast with a complex mess passed off as plot and ideologically worrisome undertones. It’ll spark discussion, in other words, and that is not a bad thing. And if he’s got something completely different up his sleeves? Well, so much the better, and so much more discussion will be sparked.

I remember back in July 2001, my last night in Taiyuan if I remember rightly, but at the very least I was about to leave, I decided to check out the choosing of the 2008 Olympics host city on TV. When the name “Beijing” was read out, as everybody already knows, the place simply exploded. Honestly, I’m sure people had either moved their TVs outside or set some kind of remote control so that they could let off their fireworks as soon as Beijing was awarded the games, because the firworks were instantaneous. I remember thinking that it was pretty cool that Beijing got the games, but dreading the seven years of ever increasing noise and hassle. I remember deciding I would not be in Beijing for the Olympics. Well, the next day or very soon after I moved to Beijing, and apart from six months in New Zealand and one year working in Tianjin, I’ve been here ever since. Still here now, and the Olympics are about to start. Dread of all the noise and hassle has given way to fatalistic resignation, and now I’m almost even looking forward to it.

I just hope we get a decent rainfall by Friday, and good, dry northerly, too.

2 Responses to “four days….”

  1. Micah Sittig Says:

    I’m actually really curious to see what Zhang Yimou has prepared for us.

    You’re a better man than I.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Not sure about your reference there, Micah. But I think my curiosity is as much of the morbid variety as it is positive expectation of something grand.