another day in a pair of dice (or, when in china just ask “how hai”?

Hmmm. where to start, when I have soooo many things to cover?
First, it rained on us today. yech. a steady drizzle, enough to get
everything damp and soggy.
another – we walked ourselves near to death. These folks are so much
more security conscious than Athens (and remember, THEY were paranoid
about terrorists and with good reason, right there on the med). I
don’t think of a good excuse for what we are experiencing here, except
that this IS a totalitarian society after all. There are not enough
places for the uncredentialled (ie, ME) to enter. If you have the
craved-for credentialls, you can easily go in at many different places
around the Olympic Green, in your car-with-driver transportation that
drives 70 mph down the main roads surrounding and entering into the
greens. seriously. zoom. if you have no cred, you walk. or you
can ride a bus (when you can figure out where to catch it) to certain
distant points, and then walk BACK to get in.
Once in, it ain’t so bad, except that from the entry point we finally
were allowed to use, there was a 1 to 2 mile distance to the tennis
venue or to the souvenir store, or to mickey d’s. This place
requires good walking shoes and NSAIDs for the joints that ache from
all the walking on granite and asphalt.
In the rain, we were also required repeatedly to go, say, 20 feet to
one out-of-our-path way, step up on a curb and go around a light pole,
THEN we could step back down on the path and continue. In other
words, at certain points an arbitrarily, whimsically chosen hoop was
placed for us to jump/conform to in order to not be accosted by the 5
or 10 police standing there telling us to do the dos-eee-doe for them.
It’s good to be in China because It changes the way you look at
things. And they really can’t help being so dictatorially
unreasonable.
We ate at the McDonalds in the greens, where they import the beef from
‘merica. honest. they really do. And it was just like back home,
only about half the price. one big mac, two “superior spicy chicken
sandwiches”, a parfait, two fries and two coke lights (no diet cokes
here), came to less than 8 dollars. No choice on drink size, all
comrades get the same drink. :) it all tasted just like MickeyDs
back in Austin, yum. (well, not really yum, but it WAS comfort food,
when your leg and knees are aching like you are some old geezer.
hmmm….nah…)
The tennis is one of the best tickets in town for sure. the
wheelchair basketball is good, but you have to put up with the same
kind of foul-to-stop-the-game over and over like in the waning moments
of an NBA or college hoops game, where the coach has to get a foul
every second so he can dialogue a super secret play to get another
basket. in other words, it is NOT non-stop action at any point in a
wheelchair bball game because the refs are calling fouls on EVERY
sIngle alternating possession. But the tennis, did I mention it was
great? The only concession to the disability thang is that they get
to let the ball bounce twice on their side if they want to, otherwise
it’s the same action and it is a lot of fun to watch.
the neat thing about today is that while they blocked access to
directly going to the archery qualifying field (but they did let us
buy two tickets for archery (that wasn’t there today), you could still
sit in the stands of the tennis stadium and watch the archery going
on, (and even film it, woo hoo). So, we had tickets for archery but
there was none for us to attend, but we still got to watch it from a
distance.
so It was a two-fer!
As our clothes all dry out from the rain here in our hotel room, we
retire with a bottle of wine picked up at an
international-accomodating grocery store – Jenny Liu’s. She started
stocking stuff for the expatriates at the international school a few
year ago, and now has five stores around Beijing where you can get
most anythang YewEss yew want! If she doesn’t have it, she gets it
pdq.
so. it’s Walk walk walk, if you ain’t a credentialled person. But
have a good time and do NOT let the puppeteers yank your strings (or
rather do not let them get you upset with their need to control you -
just go with the flow and remember that you are there to watch
athletes perform well and being forced to long marches is well, a
bonus! i am sure that I am losing weight :)
Archery and Tennis for most of the day tomorrow (That’s a Wednesday, the 10th.)
and here is the schedule for Kevin, Lindsey, and the rest of the US archers:

http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/AR_2008-09-10.shtml

And I am upload a bazillion photos and video clips here:

http://www.arcarmichael.com/beijing/Beijing/index.html

please feel free to leave comments and questions, I will try to answer
best as I can. And don’t forget Lindsey’s blog at rings and arrows…


Thanks, Ron

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