Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let the Games begin!

Mt Huashan, China
I've run myself ragged over the past five days trying to get a sense of China as she gears up for the Debutante Ball, and so far I have a pocket full of threads awaiting a tapestry. I must say, China is a country of great contrasts. A communist country with in-your-face capitalism everywhere. A landscape of unbelievable beauty made hazy by poisoned and polluted air. Oppressive heat and humidity and noisy throngs of people outside; feng shui, gentle music, and cool crisp air inside.

I'm staying at the Beijing Hilton, temporary home of the United States Olympic Committee. As you can imagine, the level of service is over the top. Since the Bush family's arrival at the hotel next door, security has been tightened and my perfect oasis is now tainted by the presence of wand-wielding uniformed guards.

Worse still, the trophy wives of important men have invaded, and they are putting the staff through their paces. The upside is that they are fun to watch and secretly mock. Regal lionesses to my happy little mountain goat. Ha!

Today the torch arrives in Beijing. The city is electric. I don't have a ticket to the Opening Ceremonies -- no surprise since they run about $3,000 each. But my friend with Olympic connections tells me that we may meet with some last-minute luck, so I'm dressed and ready to go.

For now, I leave you with some pictures of the mountain goat biding her time!

Mt Huashan, China trail
Mt Huashan, China meditation
Mt Huashan, China gold locks
Mt Huashan, China, Marie Walden
Beijing Tiananmen Square One World
Beijing Tiananmen Square One Dream

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