Happy Birthday on the 3rd day of the Beijing Olympics 2008

No longer quite sure whether I am reporting on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, as days are collapsing into one while working nightshifts, aggrevated by the six hours timezone difference, which we never had time to fully digest. In a way this nightshift has been a blessing, as it tolerates to put one's mind in order. Everything seems to co-incide these days, as my father would have turned 75 if he wouldn't have died 2 days ago.

Luckely I was granted 3 great medidative moments before, during and after this shift.

Walking up Beichenlu towards the Olympic Parc, glass sculptures embedded in the central avenue - exactly on the North-South axis between the Bird's Nest and Tienanmen - emanated a colourful glow, just like the strings of small lights attached to kites rocking in the dark sky, surrounded by hunting bats.

Around 3 o'clock in the morning, I took a hike to the NST (National Stadium), and laid down on a marble circle between trees and sculptures - one carrying a sailboat - and listen to the sound of the Olympic Flame - clearly audible in the silence of early morning - while I watched night turning into day. Before returning to DHQ, I ventured in one of the empty supervisor chairs - like the ones used next the tennis courts - and watched the Olympic staff flowing in to start their working day.

After finishing work, I watched the large fountain dancing at musical and classical tunes, and left the OCG (Olympic Common Ground) via the East Gate. Returning via Beichenlu Southbound, I crossed a smiling old man wearing classic robes - probably performing in the China Village - while carrying a Guqin (seven-stringed zither without bridges), and when looking up, I could fail to notice the clouds of dragonfies swimming in the thick humid air. Meanwhile I touched the small black ribbon, offering me some comfort in mourning, with the intention to wear it until my father's service in September.

The large crowds moving in the opposite direction - carrying flags of all nations - indicated that the Games have now truly started. Following our INFO intranet, Evi Van Acker will set sail on the 12th August in Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 14:00 for Laser Radial in Qingdao. Unfortunately our Belgian ladies for beachvolley - Liesbet van Breedam and Liesbeth Mouha which we saw on the plane - got beaten in 2 sets by Norway in the morning on 9/8 at Chaoyang Park.


Beichenlu


Ideal skating lane


Love China (lighted Watercube in background)


The exclusive Pai Gu Da Guan hotel near the Olympic main site


Musical dancing fountain


Holy Flame guarding the Olympic site


Preparations for Games in NST underway


Lucky Post-IT wishes on Volunteer stand


Group of Chinese Volunteers


Staff moving in as I quit my nightshift