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So I havent logged in for a while. There is a reason for that - the internet sucks in Shanghai and Xi'an.

Anyway thus far I have travelled from Melbourne to Hong Kong, then Shenzhen, then Kota Kinabalu, then Sandakan, then Kuala Lumpur, onto Shanghai and am now at the hotel in Xi'an off to the terracotta warriors tomorrow. There is Beijing bunting and posters all over Shanghai - they are really pumped. The Shanghai Stadium has extremely pretty rainbow style banners all around with the Beijing cloud motif.

A friend of mine here tells me that if Beijing failed in getting 2008, Shanghai was going to bid for 2012. Shanghai is a chaotic mess so good luck with that one!

Anyhow I will post photos soon and keep you posted. I arrive in Beijing on August 6.

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So I havent logged in for a while. There is a reason for that - the internet sucks in Shanghai and Xi'an.

Anyway thus far I have travelled from Melbourne to Hong Kong, then Shenzhen, then Kota Kinabalu, then Sandakan, then Kuala Lumpur, onto Shanghai and am now at the hotel in Xi'an off to the terracotta warriors tomorrow. There is Beijing bunting and posters all over Shanghai - they are really pumped. The Shanghai Stadium has extremely pretty rainbow style banners all around with the Beijing cloud motif.

A friend of mine here tells me that if Beijing failed in getting 2008, Shanghai was going to bid for 2012. Shanghai is a chaotic mess so good luck with that one!

Anyhow I will post photos soon and keep you posted. I arrive in Beijing on August 6.

You missed U.S. Dream Team in Shanghai~ ;) , Good luck with the trip to Beijing

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TNMP,

wanna switch places? You can have my job at the theatre and have popcorn thrown in your face and have to work with 16-17 year olds who don't take their job seriously, and I can go to Beijing and revel in the splendour that is the Olympics...oh wait, I get to do that in 2010.....

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OK - so I had the great fun experience of flying into Beijing yesterday. My flight was delayed for 4 hours in Xi'an. The departure board listed the reason - 'Airline Plan'... wtf? So anyhow we got here eventually and made it to the hotel in less than 40 minutes which was awesome. Feeling the need for sustenance I hit up the Sizzler at Oriental Plaza. Awesome! Hahahaha! A nice night walk around Tiananmen followed - and it was great to not be the only 'westerner' in town for once.

This morning we (met up with a mate from Brisbane) headed to the CoSport office (worst directions ever - there is almost a direct route straight from the subway stop...) to pick up our tickets. It seemed to be OK for us - relatively painless until we heard some loud complaining... There were a few ticket buyers whose tickets were not there. One Cosport girl was in tears, the buyers were furious as it seems that somehow their tickets had been mixed in with someone elses of a similar order number and handed out two days before. The guy (American) was yelling that he had swimming tickets and how he had waited years and years.... very messy. As I left it seems that someone else was missing tickets - basketball this time...

Oh and we did get English spectator guides by the way - only one a piece but I'll seek out more to send to some GBidders (Baron, Aaron, Faster etc)

I have just done a whip around the Forbidden City. Security was very tight and at one stage they cleared the whole Meridian Gate area as a few VIPs went around. Right now I am typing this at the FAB store in Oriental Plaza as the net is down at my hotel... yay! Media in Australia states only 500 Aussies have made the trip - and to be honest there is just not that many non-Chinese faces around - a few Westerners here and there - most with accreditation passes...

Tomorrow night is the OC - and there is no publicity of where live sites are in town. I have tickets to the Samsung party - but if I didnt I'd be rooted as it were.

I'll post more soon - the mood on the street is positively electric however - Beijing is pumped. The air is very hazy today and I hope for rain to cool this place down...

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<snip...

This morning we (met up with a mate from Brisbane) headed to the CoSport office (worst directions ever - there is almost a direct route straight from the subway stop...) to pick up our tickets. It seemed to be OK for us - relatively painless until we heard some loud complaining... There were a few ticket buyers whose tickets were not there. One Cosport girl was in tears, the buyers were furious as it seems that somehow their tickets had been mixed in with someone elses of a similar order number and handed out two days before. The guy (American) was yelling that he had swimming tickets and how he had waited years and years.... very messy. As I left it seems that someone else was missing tickets - basketball this time...

<...snip...>

I have just done a whip around the Forbidden City. Security was very tight and at one stage they cleared the whole Meridian Gate area as a few VIPs went around. Right now I am typing this at the FAB store in Oriental Plaza as the net is down at my hotel... yay! Media in Australia states only 500 Aussies have made the trip - and to be honest there is just not that many non-Chinese faces around - a few Westerners here and there - most with accreditation passes...

Tomorrow night is the OC - and there is no publicity of where live sites are in town. I have tickets to the Samsung party - but if I didnt I'd be rooted as it were.

I'll post more soon - the mood on the street is positively electric however - Beijing is pumped. The air is very hazy today and I hope for rain to cool this place down...

1) Interesting about Cosport having missing ticket orders. I've been in the will-call picking up on 3 occasions since it opened, and nobody I saw ever had any issues. I had many multiple orders and every one was perfect. Wonder what went wrong here?

2) Cosport directions were actually correct when they were written and up through yesterday. I was at Cosport yesterday 8 am (August 6) and I assure you that "direct route from the subway" was very much closed down and impassible directly from the closest subway stop, with street construction going on. You just got lucky that they opened the shortcut in the last 18 hours.

3) In my part of town, there are a lot of extra westerners and yes they are mostly with accreditation passes. However, I have met several tourists here for the Games, completely unaffiliated with an official or unofficial group/organization/sponsor etc. But not that many--and most of the ones I met were looking for extra tickets (which is how I met them, ahem...)

4) Live sites have definitely not been well publicized, and I fear will be a disappointment. Whether from the desires of the sponsors or the insistence of the government and security authorities, it seems that the live sites will have controlled access, security checkpoints, and a general "stage managed" feel rather than a fun outdoor festival environment. I am seriously reconsidering plans to go to a live site. Live sites in the more central areas of town include: Ditan Park, Chaoyang Park (south gate), The Place shopping center (about 15 minutes north of Silk Market), Grand View Park, Haidian Park in the University Area. Definitely NOT at major high-profile sights like Tiananmen, Tiantan, or Beihai--which is in keeping with my expectations. Many of the hotels and popular bars will be tuned in to the Ceremonies, but most are also charging New Years Eve-like steep covers for tables and "dinner buffet." And/or requiring tickets or invites in advance.

5) Electric? I haven't noticed that the mood on the street is electric at all, at least not from most of the Chinese or the expats. Most of what I get is weariness of the whole thing. Possibly I am using a different yardstick to measure mood, though.

6) Definitely agree it was a crappy day today, and we need a good rain. I am expecting (hoping?) to hear the big sonic booms tonight which would mean cloud seeding and a good rain tomorrow morning, Which would pretty much mean a nice late afternoon and evening of weather for the Ceremonies.

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