Storm at the Summer Palace

14 08 2008

Today, 14 August we visited the Summer Palace, 颐和园 (Yi He Yuan) and we had a bit of a wet day!!! Yeah, remember the shoes after the storm in Biella? Same shoes, same or even worse storm, since we had a bit more smaller cover, with a bit more people!!! 😦
I start thinking those shoes are a bit of a bad luck!!! 🙂

So we started the visit of Summer Palace in a bit of a cloudy day, where the forecast announced light rain.. and for about 20 minutes we have been blocked in a quite small pavilion (Pavilion of Mesmerizing Scenery) because of a sudden and scaring storm! Maybe, for us at least partly cover (the construction was open on 2 sides and really really crowded), there was not so much fear, but many boats have been surprised when still in the lake, and most of them were pedalo’ ones, no motor.. I took a short and bad quality video, just look the waves toward the end. Actually these 2 guys have been fished out from the lake after their boat tipped over.

After the main shower (with extremely strong wind), both Han Xu and me were soaked to the bone.. but we still spent the day in the park..

About Summer Palace: it is just GORGEOUS! (Not all the pics have been uploaded yet) I have been really amazed.. and we managed to visit only two thirds with the time (and energies) we had.. Given that Forbidden City is majestic, I think that as an emperor I would have loved Summer Palace. It must be remembered that the “palace” had been destroyed by French and English once and next by other forces, so we see now only the last reconstruction, from 1902.

Just the names (English translations!!) of the different location in Summer Palace huge area are an unforgettable experience.. A few examples: Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, Natural Affinity of Water and Trees, Garden of Harmoniuos Interests, Hall of Happiness and Longevity, Abode in Clouds and Pines, Heart Purifying Pavilion, Hall of Serenity, Hall of Outmost Blessing.. and many many others..

This is a place I will visit again, for sure!!!

Just out of curiosity, since yesterday I opposed Severgnini (a well known Italian journalist-bloggist from Corriere delle Sera) thesis that one cannot find “gadgets” in Beijing, today I actually took pictures of Olympics souvenirs shops, in Summer Palace park! We managed to pass only 3 of the 6-7 gates, and, not a surprise for me, everywhere there was a stand for official Olympics things!!! QED, Mr. Severgnini!!! ;-)

Another Olympic note, to the Swedish wrestler that lost against the Italian one (maybe I’m too patriottic): he behaves bad with him and bad at the medal ceremony.. and the Nordic people (Swedish, Danish and Norwegians) always consider themselves the perfect example of honesty and respect toward the rest of the world.. Exactly like this, right? We Italians have football memories about the honesty of SWE and DAN.. but we have done the same too.. At least, we, Italians, win on self-irony level and we never thought we can teach the rest of the world the meaning of the word “respect”..

Ah, I love Nordic countries!!! 😉

PS Tomorrow evening it will start my Olympics: 韩旭 and I will go to watch beach volley, women eigth of finals.. and we will assist to China, Brasil, Norway and other top teams!! So cool!!!!! 😀

Beihai park map & Huan Huan

13 08 2008

(Please pardon my grama mistakes.. a different keyboard, early hours and a thousand degrees messed me up a bit these days 😉 and with Notepad in Chinese I can’t find any corrector!!)

Today post is related to a blog of one of *those* journalists that today says something really amazing!!! No politics, just.. a weird comment from someone that should have a lot of experience from here..

Beppe Severgnini is famous for a blog about Italian people living abroad. He has been in Beijing many times, he says. And today among other things, he is complaining (Italian) that he cannot find enough Olympics gadgets (but I think he means souvenirs).

OH MY GOD!!!!! That is so funny for me!! 😀

I have been here 10 days and every time Han Xu and me visit a new place, attraction, park, museum, anything, the fisrt thing that she points out for me it is a shop selling Olympics souvenirs!!!!!!

Today, 13 August we have been to a place called World Park (where they have made reproduction of important world sites) and next to a park called Ditan Park: in both places there were at least 2 shops for fuwa (friendlies) related things!

Other places, maybe with the only exception of Forbidden City, ALL have souvenirs shops!!!! Just to mention a few of those I visited: Water World, Zoo, Aquarium, any shopping center, especially in Wan Fu Jing road, Bei Hai park (today picture shows the map at the entrance of the park: notice Huan Huan in the middle and there were many small shops with Olympics souvenir everywhere!), every small shop street sells souvenirs (they appear everywhere among the “normal” ones!)..
Actually, I was thinknig now about Forbidden City: there is a place about in the middle where we bought ice creams and I am pretty sure Han Xu showed me there too some Olympics “gadgets”..

Han Xu is sleeping now, but that will be the first thing I will tell her tomorrow morning: good to start a day with a good laugh!!! 😀

Family dinner

10 08 2008

For the day, 10 August, tonight I had a MEGA dinner together with a good part of Han Xu family: uncle, aunt, cousin, grandmother, mother.. and Han Xu herself, of course!

The dinner was amazing, with a lot of new dishes, again! All of them ranging from OK to extremely good!! Among the weird ones, this time, some soft tofu (very good) and a sheep soup, with meat and all the interiors of the sheep.. extremely strong taste! Next I love the sweets, especially if based on red beans.. but here sweets and not are all served together so the tastes mix a bit!

Olympic facts: the Dream Team is back!!! I just saw them destroying (+30) a very good China able to resist one quarter. China is indeed very interesting: an amazing good percentage in 3 points shots, especially when the match had still a meaning. And a couple of players, besides Yao Ming, that can really play a good basketball.

I watched also China football team losing against Belgium, possible next opponent of Italy.. and I wonder:
Maybe for bullshit political reasons..
China ended up in 9 men, 2 red cards, where especially the second has been a great combination of naivety of Chinese players, good tricks and experience of Belgian (attention Italians!!!) and very bad judgement of the referee!! Also the first red card, not a scandal, but still, given the importance of the match, a bit too fast!
Next quite a few decision by all the three referees has been clearly against China.. and Belgium team is HORRIBLE!! They managed to close the match far too laste, 11 against 9 they took abnormal risks.. god, they really suck!!!

Besides that I read from a sport comment on Italian internet newspaper (yeah, still one of the two major) and still the idiot journalist managed to fill in complains toward organization:

* the technology is not good enough because in the Olympic village internet connection is not as good as in Italy.. mmhh… I am in a private home of an average Chinese family, and I cannot complain.. but even if internet in China has some problems from time to time (it is well known) saying that the technology is therefore at a bad level is.. STUPID!! Italian stupidity is back! Oh yeah!!!

* not enough taxi in the night (really??) and not enough taxi driver that can speak english.. Yes! This still comes from an ITALIAN newspaper!! I think all the foreigners that visited Italy know about the sameproblem, and trust me, Italian to English is ont such a great step as Chinese to English, but still not so many Italians have learned enough.. And not enough taxi?? Take the subway!! Great service, with a lot of new messages and screen with ENGLISH, all done for the Olympics!! GOD.. I HATE SO MUCH THESE JOURNALISTS! I love to destroy their myths.. a pity none of their readers visit my blog 😉

At the end congrats to China for the many gold medals.. so happy!!!
And congrats to ITALY for the few but good medals too!! 1 gold finally (after an unexpected defeat in swimming and women gymnastic 😦 )

Olympics 2008 – opening ceremony

9 08 2008

Good luck Beijing!!!

I have watched the opening ceremony of the XXIX Olympics in Beijing, China together with Han Xu and her mother.. sitting at dinner table (home made dumplings, super yummmmmmmyyyyyyy!!!) and watching from the TV. All the pictures come from that, I took photos of the TV-screen!

And I remembered why I had never watched before the complete ceremony: it lasts ages!!!! I read now that there were 204 countries.. and I knew China was the last.. I did not know that Italy was among the last 10 or something like that!!!

I read also that Italian athlets wrote a message, a joke, on an Italian flag and one of the terrible internet newspaper that I used to like write that it is a mistery why it has not been shown worldwide.. Why?? Because of idiots like people working for these newspapers one never know which message could have been written there, since it was in Italian and they could not really understand that!! Olympics is about sports, not the messages that many politicans asked athlets to send during the games. So, there is your answer, idiot journalist, was it that difficult? AHHHH… Why they try always to make problems??

Back to important things..

I really liked the show even if I think it was a bit long, but the time was the same as for the previous editions. I hope that the western editions had a bit more explanation of what was going on.. in the proper language!!! My “version” was Chinese 100% with little help by the people here.. so I sat back and enjoyed the show! For my personal taste, there could have been a bit more of tai chi movements and less singing!! 😉

Have a look, but use the detail view of the set, because the TV screen photos do not have a good resolution when watched too close!!

Good luck China!! Good luck Beijing!!!

The big day!!!!

8 08 2008

8th of August.. I jump over 2 days of exploration that I will talk about later, of course!!

I have just finished watching the welcome ceremony where president Bush and Sarkozy were all cuddling with 胡锦涛, Hu Jin Tao, even hugging (the Amrican one) and all smile and double talk for the French one.. maybe they are afraid that China might really not care about what they think??

Yeah because lately it really seems that it is ok if not a honest act write the possible shit about China and the olympics, forgetting what the Olympics are about..

Leave the fucking politics out!!!

Italian internet newspapers, 2 that I really liked, are terrible! I promise myself to not read them in the morning anymore (Chinese morning). They put bad thoughts and rage in my mind.. all these shitty so called journalist and even more shitty so-called sport (or ex-sport) people.. that are truly spitting in the dish from wherethey eat.. and they are eating quite well!!!

This is a post of rage.. the last one I hope: I’m pretty sure that if I avoid reading these stupid non-sense I will feel better, leaving in first person and not following these media, even worse than the Chinese politically correct ones!! Because these media are the ones that make wars!! If something will happen they will say: “we knew.. it’s your fault” and they will be happy! I wish the worst to these people! With all my heart..

Daily comment of Olympics related news read on the net:

* My new HERO: Antonio Rossi, already a sport hero, and big hope for gold medals, he finally said what every athlets here should say.. this is sport, leave politics out!!! not like the idiot below.. it’s them destroying the spirit here!!

* Mennea is an idiot.. not a little one, I mean, he is a first class moron! shithead, idiot, imbecil.. piece of shit.. and ignorant, and that is the worst maybe. Mennea has been a very good Italian athlete and quite good at a mondial level with a record on 200 m run that has been undefeated for a long time (SINCE, remember, it was made at mountain level, somewhere in south or central america.. do not remember where!). Anyway, the above mentioned idiot, since being forgotten for such athletes is a very bad thing, had to open his mouth and say something to attract attention again, said that the idea of the Olympics in Berlin and Beijing (does he hate all cities starting with B? Bergamo and Bari included?) is close to the word… genocide..Yes, you read correctly.. Now, I like to know what I am talking about and internet is a good help for knowing the meaning of the words.. He adds that it is a very politiced game this year.. forgetting maybe Atlanta, when it was stolen from Greece for 2000 and given to Coca Cola.. what about this? Furthermore, not happy, he continues that giving the games to such a country means approving their politics.. Does he forget again.. USA?? Japan??
I know the meaning of every single word I use! A difference from you, right???
And talking about genocide, what about the killing of Japaj in Manchuria and China?? hundreds of thousand and Japan never apologized.. THIS is genocide!!! And they got the olympics..
And what about the 2 nuclear bomb in Japan “made in USA”?? And they got Olympics and probably you lick the ass of USA dollars..
2 easy example for your limited mind..
I repeat, for clearence:

Tiananmen square by night!!

5 08 2008

The day ended with a nice stroll to and around Tiananmen square, 天安门, really full of people.. a normal evening for Beijing!
It was an amazing sight! I knew and got before the feelings of dimension: here everything is larger.. and Tienanmen square is a good example (and I hadn’t been yet in the Forbidden City.. wait for next post!! and pics!! 😛 ).

Very nice atmosphere with all these people (90% maybe Chinese) enjoying the arrival of a great moment for Beijing and enjoying there few symbols representing the Olympics.

A few comments from these first days, mostly not about what happens here but about what i read:

– I was expecting many more foreigners.. But athlets are maybe focused on training so they don’t go around.. and journalist.. are focused on.. athlets?? mmhh.. I have been a sport journalist myself.. if I was a journalist HERE I would be extra glad to have got a payed trip to visit this wonder!!

– I read from Italian newspaper about the terror attacks and it’s relation to Olympics.. and I think that the people killing other people 4000 km from here have reached their intent! Get a lot more of attention than they would otherwise get.. When Italian, American or whatever news have ever mentioned the problems of the muslim part of China? And for USA muslim are bad everywhere, except than in China? Here Chinese governement is to blame?? God, I hate this behaviour.. so typical of our Western media!!!

– Another thing I read was comments about these poor Chinese that they cannot ever see the skies and the stars in the night, said by some Italian athlete.. as if Rome, Milan for example (without talking about some German or American metropoly) are example of clean sky and environmental friendliness.. Not once you read a comment different from the stereotype.. In these few days I have seen blue sky as it is in Norway and grey sky as in European capitals in sumemr time, but these last days there has not been ANY problem at all regarding pollution levels!! These have been very lucky days!! Warm, hot, yes.. but everywhere (bus, subway, restaurants, etc..) there are fans (old models of bus and trains) or air condition. I do not think these poor athlets have to suffer the real bad bad Beijing weather..

– Last thing that pissed me off was the comment of an Italian politician (yeah, right.. idiots by definition, but still they talk publically) about his hope that Italian and not Chinese athlets will find some way pacific way to express their support for Tibet situation or the other “Chinese problems”.. because Italian politicians think to know about Chinese politics.. but apart from that.. if any of these athlets use bracelet with political slogans or use their blogs for that, I think they should be sent home! If they wanted to express opposition they should have not come here. But they are here especially for sponsors and medals, ie. MONEY!! Too easy after winning or partecipating doing something to show opposition! Go Home!!! And learn history maybe! And if you are Italian, think twice next election before voting again!!!

Tiananmen square – 08/2008

To the Olympics!

1 08 2008

Finally ready, tonight around 6 pm I will board the first flight on my way to Beijing and to the Olympics!!!

I barely know what I can expect there.. I know that finally after almost two months I will hug again Han Xu and she will take me around one of the most famous city of the world!

But about the Olympics, I just saw a few pictures here and there and both the national stadium, the so called Bird’s Nest, and the swim arena, also called Water Cube, are amazing! Unfortunately I will be able only to see them from the outside..

Totally different story for the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground, since for that I managed to get some tickets!!! 😀 Quite a conicidence that the company where Han Xu’s mother works, XG Lighting,  took care of lighting in beach volley park (and also in the Water Cube)

From tomorrow I will be able to upload pictures on Flickr and writing post on this blog from there!!

Beach volley Olympics tickets!!!