Monday, August 25, 2008

This Ain't Your Home Theater

Yesterday a group of us, weiguoren (foreigners) watched the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. No, we didn't get lucky and score tickets to the Bird's Nest, but instead we headed to the local park to join 5,000 or so of our not-so-close Chinese friends. Literally, thousands of people were gathered in the square to view the pomp and circumstances. People sat on newspapers, sandals, or small folding stools to vicariously enjoy the event of the century. The massive screen loomed high above the ground was very impressive. It was like a gigantic drive-in movie without the cars.

Of course, we were also a spectacle as we strolled through the sea of onlookers, turning their heads to observe our every move. The local television station was there of course, and quickly capitalized on the opportunity to spotlight the foreigners in their city. One of our friends, Gregg, the most blond haired, blue eyed guy was interviewed for the news and we all had stars in our eyes from the mob of camera guys wanting to take our picture. I'm sure it's on the front page of some Chinese newspaper somewhere in Tianjin. The paparazzi has nothing on these guys! We are definitely celebs here...especially when we travel as a herd...I mean group.

Anyway, we sat on the hard concrete throughout the entire 3 hour program, but it was OK. As soon as I got up the blood started rushing to my numb rear and all was well again with the world. What a great privilege to be in the host country during the Olympics! Yes, there is a lot of mafan (trouble) that goes with it, but still... this is what memories are made of.



Laury said...

Greetings, Lindy. That was my sister's nickname as a child so it will be fun to use again. To join the trend, I think I'll be Laury. So good to hear about your adventures so far and to see the great photos. Technology continues to amaze me, and China is a beautiful country. How awesome that you could be at the Olympics, Lindy. That will be a forever memory. You are continually thought about. All my best, Laury