August 8, 2008
Smoggy Skies and Shaky Fists
Beijing has tried so hard to have blue skies for the Olympics games. They've seeded the clouds, they've created odd/even days for driving (depending on the last digit of your license plate). They've shut down the coal factories, and all other factories surrounding the city. They've planted trees, millions of trees.
And here I sit, on 8/8/08, the day of Beijing's Opening Ceremony and it's smoggy. I can't see buildings just a block away. And I feel bad. I want the skies to be blue, I want the BOCOG to be able to keep their promise to the athletes. I want the media to be wrong, and to write articles about the clear blue skies.
On the August 6th we went to the first Olympic game of the '08 games- women's soccer in Tianjin. The temperature was 95 degrees, with 84% humidity, and smog so dense that we couldn't see the other side of the stadium clearly. Sitting still in that heat was not enjoyable. The game however was a lot of fun! Argentina vs. Canada was the first game and Canada dominated the game with a 2-1 victory. The Argentinian women were scrappy players, I've never seen soccer played like that.
The second game was China vs. Sweden. As a Stilson, I was cheering for Sweden, but the home field advantage was undeniable and China won the game 2-1. There were about 30 fans for Sweden and about 68,000 for China.
The way home was a disaster. All the bullet train tickets back to Beijing were sold out, with the next train being at 3 am. I won't get into the details but it involved a ton of frustration and 'shaky fist' moments. We eventually had to take taxis home, and didn't walk in the door until 1:30am, minus my grandma's wallet. Yeah, that's right...lost a wallet in a random Beijing taxi.
We're headed to the Lido Holiday Inn for an Opening Ceremony BBQ. That's right, celebrating in style.