北京欢迎你 - Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni - Beijing Welcomes You
[G2:13783 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] Did you know that the 5 mascots of the Olympic games are called BeiBei JingJing HuanHuan YingYing and NiNi? You see a connection between the names and the subject of this post? Yes its a word-play, Chinese love word-plays, and they have plenty of them. Thats why the love the number 8 because its sounds like wealth and hate number 4 because it sounds like death...
(The names of the mascots uncovered in detail: http://pinyin.info/news/2005/bei-bei-jing-jing-wel-wel-comes-comes-you-you/)
The other Mascot of the Games, the white man on red background is called "Jing", and in facts its not a man, its the chinese character for "Captial" and its part of "BeiJing"... with a bit fantasy you see it.
You cannot come near the Olympia Stadium without a ticket, and the tickets were expensive, also other parts were just for ticket holders, like the new Metro-Line number 8 which was build just for the olympic games, and was already closed again the week later. It will be certainly reopened during the Paralympics, end of this week.
Beijing has beside the new Olympic Buildings also quite a massive stock of skyscrapers and some not as modern chinese buildings.
[G2:14084 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] The weather this weekend was a real dream, a beautiful blue sky over Beijing and the forbidden city was flooded in brights sunlight. I was less lucky when I went to the great wall in Mutianyu, everything was grey and due to the haze you havent seen that far. But it still was a great adventure, and the Great wall was surprisingly empty. But I don't know how crowded it would have been in Badaling (THE Tourist Attraction of the Great Wall).
At the moment I met quite a lot of Chinese who try to speak some words in english, and try every chance to get some touch with the real china. The chinese are very welcoming, and they not only talk with you if they want to do business.
I also asked some questions about the Massacre at Tian'an Men Square. Some don't even know what I am talking about, or pretend to. Others do know what happened, but its not easy to talk with them, still some Information is still around, also in the younger generations which wasn't involved at that time at all. Their knowledge seem to us quite limited, the memorize alot, everybody knows about the historical tourist attractions and can tell you the order of the dynasties, if it goes to modern day history they have big gaps. (Could be an observer problem too)
And they dont know much about the rest of the world, some have never heard of Switzerland, and I definitly can understand that Bern is not on the Top List of the World Cities, but when someone said he has never heard of moscow I was abit astonished... especially if you think about the high literacy rate in china, and everybody taking at least 8 years school.
China did a well job in giving their people only the knowledge they want them to know. The did very well with restriction to delicate knowledge and people stopped to think on their own. Most don't even know enough to procude critical thoughts, Orwell at its best, next step would be newspeak. All the people I could speak with had at least some knowledge of English, so they are already kind of elite, and well educated.
Can we judge about them because they don't know better? - I think not! - The chinese governement won't have problems until the educated people are not content anymore, and I think that won't happen as long the economy is strong.
Beside all the beauty in Beijing, I again had intensive contact with embassies, and wasted many hours waiting there. At the russian and the mongolian embassy I had to wait over 3 hours.
Not to mention that the CITS (Chinese Internation Travel Service) only accepts cash... And at the moment I dont have a passport, but tomorrow I'll get the passport from the mongolian embassy again, and on wednesday I will take the train to moskow heavily armed with all my visa.
[G2:14899 n=1 class="left" exactsize=180 frame=dots] China was an amazing experience, if I ever come back I want to speak at least some basic sentences in Mandarine, I already tried to learn the tones, but its quite difficult to speak the 4 tones correctly, but I really try to speak 瑞十 (Rui Shi = Switzerland) correctly, still every Chinese thinks I am from Russia (which is phonetically quite near), its really annyoing :P
By the way, I will land on 11. September 2008, at 10o'clock pm on the Airport in Zurich, I already have my e-ticket reservation and I will fly via Kopenhagen.
PS: I found one of the chines youtube versions: http://www.youku.com/