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Everything posted by jiejie

  1. I've got you down, along with Chateau and maybe Torch. Working with some other expats on arrangements. Will put details out a a bit later.
  2. Chinese students don't HAVE to leave Beijing, so the information above is not accurate. However, it is true that a lot of the standard university housing that they would normally stay in, is being used to house CHINESE volunteers during July/August, and most cannot afford to move to non-University private housing. Which is scarce and overpriced for the summer anyway, as is housing at all price levels in all categories in all locations in Beijing. So, this tends to have the net effect of pushing the students out of Beijing, if they are just "hanging around" and not attending summer classes, and if they don't have friends or family to stay with. The central and city governments are perfectly OK with this indirect effect of the Olympic planning--they pretty much view anybody (Chinese or foreign) under age 25 or so, as a potential source of trouble and/or embarrassment, and are not sad to thin out the cities' ranks of the youthful for the time being. And Maryjane, your attempted crack about Team USA is stupid, lame, and uncalled-for. (Also dead wrong). However, your track record of posting moronic comments on this forum is unfortunately quite established, so I guess nobody should be surprised.
  3. Found this Beijing Subways. One of the more useful guides for the visitor during the Olympics (or any other time). Bottom portion of article identifies the stations closest to the major tourist sites.
  4. The improvement seems to have already started. Since July 12, we have had nearly one week of blue skies every day, with a couple of half-days where we had some light rain. Today a little bit of haze over the central city, but still bright and blue. I firmly believe they had already started shutting down factories even before July 20. And some of the worst polluting trucks (usually allowed in Beijing only at night between 11 pm-6 am) have been sidelined. I have never seen a string of quality summer days like this for the past 7 summers I've been here, so something is definitely afoot. If this is the weather/air quality we have during the Games themselves, there shouldn't be too much cause for complaint. Today we started the odd-even license plate driving restrictions, but as it was Sunday, we won't see the full benefit until tomorrow, when the regular work week starts. Traffic was noticeably lighter on the roads today compared to last Sunday, however. Subway Line 10 opened today. I think the Airport Express line is still on track for August 1--stay tuned.
  5. See my post #36 on the Microchip thread. You'll have to be proactive, act fast, and probably put out a "wanted" notice. Maybe price you are willing to pay to cut through BS and save time. A few days ago, someone on thebeijinger.com classifieds was giving away tickets (!)--which I personally find hard to believe. You could also put out a wanted notice on ebay to see if you can pull anything from the USA audience--sounds weird but I've seen people put "wanted" items out there. Tight time frame, since if you are successful in getting an OC ticket, you still need to procure flights, accomm, and Chinese visa. If successful in your OC ticket quest, I wouldn't make the hotel location a priority, particularly if money is an issue. As long as it is in the general central city, and particularly near a subway line.
  6. Yes, in fact it is only about 20 minutes walk from the Cosport office. Closest subway is "Yong An Li" on Line 1, by the Silk Market. Use northeast exit. Walk north on Dongdaqiao Road about 15 minutes. You will pass "The Place" shopping center with the big ceiling skyscreen (this is one of the Live-Site locations, by the way)...and a little farther you'll see a crazy looking black office/commercial complex with SOHO on it. Find or ask for North Tower B, and Bob's your uncle. You can't miss it.
  7. Cosport has put on their website (see link below) the location and operating hours of their Beijing will-call office. For those of you who know Beijing, it is in the Central Business District, Jianwai Soho Building 18...sort of across from the "Silk Market" and accessible by foot, taxi, subway, bus. There is a map on their website. I am EXCEEDINGLY IRRITATED that they will not open until July 26. Hours as announced will be: July 26-August 6 08:00-19:00 August 7-August 9 07:00-22:00 August 10-August 23 08:00-19:00 August 24 08:00-17:00 CoSport-Beijing Will-Call
  8. Sorry, that should be www.thebeijinger.com classifieds.
  9. So, it seems that if you still want to buy an OC ticket, you can: 1) Procure one that came from an international sale, probably more expensive but maybe safest bet if there is no encoded data. 2) Procure one from the Chinese domestic sale, probably cheaper but a crapshoot as to whether the original Wang, Zhang or Li's name is truly encoded on the ticket. You could gamble that your foreign face plus ticket will get you in, that they will assume you have an international ticket anyway. (Although there is tiny printed coding on the standard tickets that indicate the general source, not sure about the Ceremonies tickets though). So far, the OC tickets that were advertised locally last week, have disappeared. I'm pretty sure the Chinese are taking the July 14 past deadline as "The End" of their hopes for resale, and that they don't know about the lack of coding on some tickets. I suspect if you advertised locally for a Ticket Wanted and named your price (at a reasonable premium above face value rather than outrageous, you might get some bites.) If you are serious about wanting to go, try Beijing Craiglist--ticket subcategory or thebeijing.com classifieds and see what turns up.
  10. Faster: no I didn't. This may surprise some of you, but I have purposely tried to stay away from trying to sneak-peek the details...I like surprises. As to Section L gray area, in many of the Athletics sessions this will be for MEDIA. For the Opening Ceremonies, probably will just be regular publicly-sold seats and the block not applicable. It could only fit a few hundred people there maximum, anyway. The athletes will be seated elsewhere, possibly in multiple locations, but I'm fpretty sure it will be on the lower level. I expect most of the Chinese and foreign government VIP's to be in the 2nd tier/level, Sector A as shown on map. It's the best viewing area and also more secureable than the lowest level. With some other corporate honchos there, and some on the lower level/first tier. The enclosed skyboxes (at the top of the second tier) will be mostly corporate groups. I would be surprised if the Heads of State will be in the skyboxes unless there is a last minute extreme security threat--Hu Jintao is going to need and want to be seen and behind glass isn't quite the right message he'd want to project. Also put in the VIP section and the adjoining sectors will be Communist Party officials including provincial and Chinese city honchos, and Peoples Liberation Army senior officers. And I'm sure the area in the 3rd/top tier above the VIP area will have the first few rows blocked, with armed security posted every few meters. Gray areas in Sectors B and C are almost totally for media, combination of working tables and camera stations.
  11. I downloaded it completely and without damage or error message on the first try, but then I'm based in China same as the BOCOG server. I suspect that the problems came from the overloaded internet traffic between China and the rest of the world. The foldout maps of some venue areas that are in the Chinese hard copy guide are not included in the downloaded version. The detachable bus and bus stop map (Chinese language only) is also not available as download. You may just have to pick up one of these when you arrive in Beijing, I'm sure there will be plenty floating around, though not sure about English--it's not that hard to follow the graphics, though. Maybe even available at the airport--there is supposed to be a big Olympic info desk with handouts at the Arrivals area.
  12. You mean the kind of events where your favorite athlete didn't get on the podium!? Heh-heh, I wish there were refunds for that! Actually, this brings up an interesting comment on refunds. The only time this would happen--according to the official rules--is if an event is completely cancelled and not rescheduled. There is some sort of application form to fill and submit to BOCOG (or maybe to ticket agent of your country). However, I think anybody who wasn't an original buyer, who bought a ticket on the secondary market, has no recourse, as there is no official record of them buying a ticket. Which brings up another question for those of you gurus of Games History....has a complete event cancellation (not just a reschedule) ever happened in the recent history of the Games? Short of natural or manmade disaster, I can't think of why this would happen. Inquiring minds want to know...
  13. I don't think they will do this. I think they will not be spending much checking time on anybody who looks Han Chinese which is about 95% of the public spectators. I think they will only look closely at anybody of a different ethnicity--both obvious foreigners and probably Tibetan, Mongolian, minority-looking people. Because as all Chinese know, it's we non-Hans that cause all the problems and strife. This will cut down on the number of close ID checks considerably. The Chinese have absolutely no problems with racial profiling. Also, any Chinese citizen that causes trouble knows that the consequences will be potentially dire to them and maybe their family, without hope of reprieve. Whereas with a foreign troublemaker, not much the Chinese can do besides putting you in a cell for a week or two then deporting you. As far as ticket check queues go, Birds Nest has 12 gates, of which probably 3 will be completely reserved for VIP and media. That leaves 9 gates. Each gate will probably have at least 5-6 entry queues going in, though they do have room to put on 2-3 more per gate if pushed at peak periods. Staffing isn't an issue, they have thousands of staff and volunteers on assignment and on site/on standby.
  14. In June there was an official announcement on the website about Ceremonies ticket transfer deadlines. These supersede anything found in the printed spectator guide. Here is the link, it seems to have been posted only on the Chinese part of the site (i.e not in English or French). Even without reading Chinese, you can scroll down about halfway and see the list of deadlines for yourself (translation): 7/14 17:00 (Opening Ceremony) 7/30 17:00 (Closing Ceremony) 8/12 17:00 (Paralympic Opening Ceremony) 8/23 17:00 (Paralympic Closing Ceremony) Ceremonies Ticket Transfers Take heed if you plan to purchase a Ceremonies ticket--if you can't complete the transfer by the allotted deadline, you may be taking a risk. Right now, I'm not sure if anybody really knows what will happen if someone shows up on Ceremonies night with a ticket that wasn't transferred properly.
  15. Read my post above your message. If you know where you are going/how to get there and can manage it all in Mandarin, it's possible. But, the taxi drivers despise these short distances and you will be treated to a stream of Chinese curse words. If I were to do this myself, I would hop in the cab, tell the driver where/how I wanted to go, and quickly offer him RMB 60-70 (double+ the meter rate) before he could let fly his rage. Without going into details, the current taxi system at the airport--dictated by Beijing and Airport Authority--really economically penalizes drivers who have the misfortune to pick up someone who isn't going very far...like to the Rowing venue. Except for reasons of speed--and even then you're not going to pick up that much time advantage over a taxi from intown or the Olympic bus shuttle--this isn't a good method to use as your Plan A. And particularly if you aren't able to communicate in Mandarin. Trust me, about a half-dozen taxi drivers in all Beijing speak enough English to be useful.
  16. Yes, I have lived in Beijing for 7 years (though I'm not Chinese). Answers to your questions: 1) The scale of Beijing is monumentally huge, with map distances looking deceivingly small and walkable. I assure you, a Beijing "city block" can be tremendously long. Though I have trouble making people believe this, it is often better to be farther away in miles/kilometers yet near public transport (esp subway) rather than being physically closer but still a 30/40/50 minute walk away from your ultimate destination. Especially during the heat of the summer. Even seasoned walkers/hikers from hot climates will have the p*ss taken out of them by the long distances in Beijing. 2) Get a map of Beijing with a measured scale and use it so you have an idea of just how many miles/kilometers you are dealing with. Using a map of your hometown/current location, try plotting the same distance to get a frame of reference. 3) City Centre Youth Hostel. Good place. (a) Yes you can walk to Tiananmen...it will be about 20 minutes...slightly less if you are a brisk walker. ( Well, if you don't mind walking 10 kilometers for about 3 hours, yes you could theoretically walk to the Olympic Green! Not recommended, though. Seriously, this Hostel is not close to the major Olympic venues but is still in a good location, and right on top of the subway Line 2. However, I recommend you walk west about 5-ish minutes to Line 5, and then go due north until you (i) get to transfer stop for Line 10 and Olympic Spur, which will take you up into the middle of the Green (security check performed in the subway before you are allowed to exit in to the Green), or (ii) continue on Line 5 a couple of extra stops, hop off and change to special Olympic shuttle bus that will be a 5 minute ride to drop off right at Birds Nest/Green security checkpoint entry. Elapsed time to travel from hostel to Green using either method (i) or (ii) = about 30 minutes. Lines 5 and 10 have air conditioned stations and trains. There are other alternatives as well, involving partially walking and buses, etc. City Centre Hostel is very good base for Beijing's tourist sites, much better than being out near the Oly Green if touring is part of your programme.
  17. To continue the updates...here in Beijing we have had very nice days on both Tuesday July 15 and now also on Wednesday July 16. Bright and blue sky, with just the faintest bit of light haze in the central city/CBD area where I am now. But really, really nice and particularly for a summer day. We had a very interesting rainy day on Monday...light rain in the afternoon, a break, and then a light but steady rain for much of the evening. Without going into details, there was something about the rain pattern/characteristics that made me pretty sure it was not "natural" rain, but induced by our friends at China Cloud Seeding. I think they are doing some practice runs for the Games on this... Stay tuned for when our traffic and factory restrictions begin in 4 days....
  18. If you really want to know, send me an email (see profile) and I can tell you. I have venue plans. However, unless it would make the difference between keeping and getting rid of a session ticket (or trying to "upgrade"), maybe not such a fruitful exercise?
  19. The grey section in Section L is definitely for media/ camera stations. It is behind the starting blocks for sprints. And is also the entrance where runners from racewalks and marathons will be (re) entering the stadium. They used this area for media in the Test Events.
  20. Yes, from the South Bus Station in the Central area (which is not on the Green, but is south of the "Aoti" complex (MP, HB, WP venues), Olympic express K19 will take about 45-55 minutes drive to get to Shunyi Rowing/Canoe venue. Express bus service is supposed to run from a couple of hours or so before an event starts, to a couple of hours after finishing. I suspect they will be running groups of these buses out there at one time. This is by far your easiest and cheapest method. And you know the driver won't get lost. A "back door" way to get to this facility--and probably faster but definitely more expensive--is to take the Airport light rail shuttle to the Airport (about 20 minutes from Dongzhimen transport terminal at E 2nd Ring Road), then catch a taxi for a 15-20 minute cab ride. However, the taxi driver will be furious at the short distance, so you'll have to offer him a bunch of extra money and maybe "off meter." I recommend this only for those with enough Mandarin language skills to pull it off and do the negotiation, and know how to get to your destination. It would also be possible to taxi all the way out there (expensive, fast) or take public suburban non-Olympic bus (cheap, slow but get someone to help you locate the right route and bus stop in town and in Shunyi). These methods may be needed if you need to get to Shunyi and are nowhere near/can't get to the Olympic South Bus Station in a timely fashion. Probably the best method if you are already located in the Lido, Wangjing, or near-in Shunyi areas--no sense in going all the way back in town to the South Bus Station only to head back out again.
  21. Says the same thing in the Chinese version as well. That doesn't mean that BOCOG will follow the manual on this. They can do whatever they want. I can tell you that since evening of July 14, all the local Beijing online classified ads for reselling Opening Ceremonies tickets have stopped, so obviously the local population is believing the July 14 5 pm deadline is real. I suspect if you tried to buy one now and went with the seller to register the transfer papers at BOCOG or Bank of China branch, they would refuse to take them. Outside China, I have no idea. We'll see if the action starts up again.
  22. I want to make an official announcement that yesterday, Saturday, July 11, 2008, Beijing had an absolutely gorgeous true blue-sky day, no smog or even light haze, and I'm reporting from the center of the city. A really stupendously beautiful day of the type I don't think I've seen during the last 7 summers here. Whether you ascribe this miracle to BOCOG, the Chinese Government, or God, I will leave up to you.
  23. The article linked is an example of crap journalism. A non-problem that a Westerner thought would make a good headline (yes, I'm a Westerner, too). Anybody who knows China and Beijing knows that: 1) Dog-eaters are primarily limited to some of the non-Han minorities that live in southern China (i.e. Guizhou), and also parts of Dongbei (northeastern China) especially in the Korean-Chinese. Only sporadically among Han Chinese in general. 2) Dog-eaters are primarily the elderly, and then only a select few of them. I have yet to meet any young or middle-aged Chinese who eats dog or specifically goes looking for a dog restaurant. Most of them gag at the thought. 3) Dog is not eaten in the summer, it is a winter dish, as it is considered a "heating" food for the body (the medicinal properties part). So maybe this would be more of an issue for a Winter Olympics, but not a Summer Games. 4) You'd have to search long and hard to find a Beijnger that eats dog, ditto finding a restaurant that serves dog. In seven years of living here and going into many many local Chinese restaurants, I haven't come across dog dishes on too many menus. I doubt that among the "112 official restaurants" more than half-a-dozen of them ever had dog dishes available to begin with. 5) Pet dogs are not the same as the Dinner dogs. 6) No, I don't eat dog meat myself.
  24. Nice call, Puppy. They just put that on the website. I just downloaded it and did a cursory comparison with the Chinese hard copy version--it looks identical. The only thing missing that the hard copy has is a spiffy pull-out, detachable bus/subway map of Beijing with the venues and Olympic special bus routes shown. Guess you'll have to get yours when you arrive in Beijing!
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