Friday, August 15, 2008

My Prince

Already a little way in to the Games, I can say we are doing quite allright. We had an awkward loss against Hungary to start with but made up for it with a quite decent game against Greece. Today we had an okay game and really should have left Australia behind, but for some reason we didn't seem to be able to shoot the ball into the goal on the other side and you could say this is a quite crucial flaw if you want to win a game! I would have liked to have made a difference in all this but I have not had any pool time yet so for now I'm still watching and cheering from the sideline. Feels like a shame of being so fit but oh well...

Yesterday we had visitors. Guess who? No? Well; our Prince Willem Alexander and his Wife Maxima came to our apartment and happily chatted about thier kids fighting over their seat in the bicycle trailer our games, the rest of their program and so on. Seriously, they are very nice people! And as to the question who was babysitting: well his mom of course! (aka: the queen) Fun stuff!

Meanwhile I have been entertaining myself with a chinese lesson, and am now stumbling over funny sounds and wishing people good morning in the evening and saying excuse me instead of you're welcome, which causes a lot of laughs mainly emongst the cleaning people in the morning. So maybe I'll stick with Ni Hau for now.

Quote: "You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed." -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Music: Punchlines and Prophecies, Running Downhill


Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Circus

So as most of you know 08/08/08 was the grand opening of The Olympics in China, Beijing. We walked, head up into the stadium and it was mesmerising though a tad little sweaty!

We were lucky; we were number 152 to walk in! This meant we had seats in another stadium next to this one and got to leave the village about an hour later than most. And guess who was sitting right in front of us?! well? Yep, it was Ethiopia.. so of course I walk over there and ask for a picture. Also got asked ot go to dinner as there was supposedly a good Ethiopian restaurnat here.. after the games of course, and the parents were welcome to join. Ha! The coincidence... This one's for you Hanna!

I also found Lesotho, recognised them by their hats from a little distance, so as we approached I figured I'd get a pictue for Iris there too! (Yeah I admit, I like africans and their dresses are way more fun to look at then all the european stuff!)

We did look quite handsome too! I must say the suits make everyone look very professional! I swear if anyone of my team tried to sell my a house that evening I probably would have bought it ;) However the smartness didn't last as long as it should have. As I had predicted the suits were a little too warm for this climate and being light grey this was not exactly a very big success! I think by not jumping around the entire day beside myself with excitement I spared myself from enormous embarresment but not everyone was this lucky.

By participating in the walking, we didn' t really end up seeing anyhting of the acts at all, though we got to see some flashes in between countries being called out on a big screen in the other arena. We did see the end, and the lighting of the Olympic Flame and it was really quite inpressive! Home at 2:30ish and really tired from standing up and having a little too little too drink, everyone ran through the shower and crashed... Long day, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss it!

Next up: our first game against Hungary the 11th!!

Quote: "...your beautiful smiling face just flashed across the screen really fast." -Amy Logan
Music: Olympic Anthem

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Arrival at the Palace Gates

After having hung out in Daxing for a couple days and sparring with the US team (which was a rather physical experience), getting over our jetlag and pretending to get used to the air quality, we finally took the bus to go to the Olympic Village. After a little search we found we were in buillding 9A, the top appartment from which we have quit the view most of the time interrupted by the smog and humidity in the air. Most of the countries have their flags bound to their little balconies. Across form us there is Congo and R'wanda. To name another exotic one: at lunch today I came across the Solomon Ilsands and they were wearing something that looked mostly like hawaiian shirts. Les flowers more leaves!

The Dining hall we call the binge barn (freely translated from Dutch) but it does it's name justice. There are different cuisines and within each there are three of the same buffets to be able to survice all the athletes that might decide to arrive at the same time. There is Asian, Mediterranean, Halal and International food, there is bread and cheese and hummus and all sorts of fruit. There is a breakfast bar with all sorts of cereal and bagles and and and.. there is more.. there is a McDonalds!!!! The fact that it is there is one thing but there are actually quite many people eating there too! Everything is open 24/7 too and we all have a little plastic bottlechip which we can use anywhere on any drinking machine to draw water, gatorade, coke, icetea or anything else you might want.

I share my room with Yasemin and my apartent with 6 other girls from my team at the top of the building (view is from the windo that says please do not open). Am very greatfull for the Dutch organisation to have organised wirless internet for us in the buildings as of course it makes it a lot easier to keep you all updated even when you don't really want to know what I'm doing.

Most everyone here is wearing their national team outfit which cuases quite the confusion because we are not used to have other dutchies around other than girls form our team. So every time you see the blue white orange comination you start waving or excitedly call out and then often come to realise you don' t even really know who these people are and possibly a friendly yet slightly confused smile. A similar reaction is that every time you see Russian or Hungarian or athletes from some other country you know plays waterpolo you think that is what sport they play but then it could really be just about anything when you are here. I did have to conclude though that really all the Russians look pissed off and all the greeks look somewhat arrogant! (no offence ot anyone!).

-(View on a less polluted day and on a higher one)-
We are not supposed to go off the village grounds untill we are done playing so I really hope I find some entertainment other then internet, my puzzle books, reading books and journal or else I'm afriad I might go a little crazy. The weather is really to humid and warm to do anything else and even though we have quite a large pool in this area I don't think I'll be spanding my spare time in there... I wonder why? They seem to have some music and dance going on at the far end.. maybe I'll go have a look there in the evening. Untill the next update!

And last but not least: Thankyou all for the comments on my post on blogger or by mail, they really do make my day! :D

Quote: Citius, Altius, Fortius