Olympic Sands

Date: 2008-10-19 By jamon919

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Swedish-Chinese wannabe
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“It's starting soon! Come on!”


My partner yelled to me as we rushed out of the gate towards the road, as part of a mad rush to get to the  Olympic beach volleyball semi-finals in time. As luck would have it, cabs were nowhere to be found in our time of need. The usual snaking lines of red cabs with overly passionate drivers seemed to have disappeared overnight.


“Damned! ” I thought to myself.


“No way am I going to let this take away my Beach Volleyball experience.”


Determined to make my way there, I took to the roads in full frenzy, stopping every passing cab by standing right in the middle of the road. As they stopped, I tried desperately to negotiate a price for the passengers to relinquish their cab. Yet, after a few tries, I only succeeded in making them angry, some very angry, and holding up traffic.


In the corner of my eye, I could see 2 men in suits approaching me at such a speed that when I turned, they immediately grabbed me by my arms and dragged me to the sidewalk!


“Argh argh!!!......”


I screamed for help, but as soon as I did that, a gloved hand covered my mouth and all I could muster were muffled cries.


“ Oh dear, oh dear, are they the mob or are they the police? Did I go overboard with all that? Oh my dear, oh my dear, I don’t want to die!”


Thoughts like that went through my head so quickly I could barely comprehend them.


“ You need a car? 200 yuan?”


It turns out that I was mugged by my guardian angels. These people were official Olympic chauffeurs for the media and athletes, and this was one of their attempts at moonlighting! They frequently have to wait for long periods of time before they were needed to ferry athletes or reporters from venue to venue, and with an Olympic car pass, they turned out to be highly in demand! Although their price is more than 5 times the normal price at 200yuan, I was desperate. Besides, I was simply thanking my lucky stars that they were neither the mob nor the police. Reaching into my pocket, I paid them 200 yuan and we left for the Chaoyang beach volleyball stadium.


On the car, I really felt like royalty! There were little refrigerators with whisky and frosted glasses, snacks, a mini television and a hell lot of space! The best thing is, with the Olympic car pass, we could travel in the Olympic lane, which was empty while the rest of the road was severely clogged! When we reached the stadium, our vehicle was allowed into large squares where no vehicles were allowed! I felt like a head of state, taking a vehicle right into a crowded place where no one else was permitted to! People even cheered and stared curiously at me, thinking which big shot is here for the game.


Wasting no time, I made my way to the ticket gantries with minutes to spare. As I walked there, I noticed that among the usual line of ticket touts holding up their tickets for sale, there was an unusual face. It was white. Even foreigners were peddling Olympic tickets! Chinese style! Intrigued, I whipped out my camera and took a picture. Never did I know that his wrath will descend on me soon after. Thinking that I might be a state reporter or police, he forcefully grabbed my camera and deleted the image. Stunned, I looked on as he quickly disappeared into the crowd. Another close one!


Putting that incident aside, I entered the stadium and watched the semi-finals which featured USA vs Georgia and Brazil vs Brazil. Every now and then, there were time outs where the players would retire to their rest pavilions and sizzling hot beach babes would rush out to entertain with a series sexy dance moves. Whenever the ball wasn’t playing, music was sure to be playing, effectively bringing the crowd to highs when a team won a point. In between matches and during time outs, the music never failed to energize the crowd and they easily sashayed around in tune with the beat. It was very much like a beach fiesta where everyone was so in festive spirits no matter which team won. The true spirit of the Olympics!


An exciting match to say the least, but I guess the press could do a much better job than me in describing the match, so I would let them do the job. Thus, I went around looking for more interesting people. Sure enough, I met more of them. There was this Swedish Chinese wannabe who was so interested in Chinese culture to the extent that he could speak amazingly fluent mandarin and even had pretty in depth knowledge of the history of China. It was a real pleasure to have met him and spoken to him. An inspiration for my future travels! I also met this American wearing an alien hat wandering the place. However, before I could get close up shots, he retired himself and removed his alien hat, taking a break.


As the match ended with USA thrashing Georgia and Brazil beating Brazil, I saw a star.


“Isn’t he Chow Yun Fatt? ”


I thought to myself as I took a photo from afar and approached him.


“Are you Chow Yun Fatt!? Can I have your autograph please!?”


I pestered him, sure that he was the famous movie star who began his career in Hong Kong, moved to China and even made a print in Hollywood. Yet, his reply was cold and firm.


“ No, I'm not. Please go away. ”


He said in perfect 'Hongkonger English'. Till today, I still can’t be sure if it was him, but instinctively I felt like it was. Meeting him certainly wrapped up my adventure at the Olympic Sands!


Views:87 Tags: Olympics Beijing Beach Volleyball Chaoyang

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