Guanxi, baby, guanxi. The Chinese are getting their “game face” on today and the 2008 Olympic opening ceremonies, if the newspaper reports are true, promise to be over-the-top spectacular. Living as I have outside the US for 13 years, I have not seen an Olympic ceremony in 16 years. I once tried, when living in Mexico, to watch figure skating. The female skater, a cute little Russian, was three-quarters of her way through her performance when the Mexican television powers-that-be cut to commercial. Deflated, I turned off the TV set. Why bother?
But now I am in the US and I am going to be glued to the television set. Glued. The Things are all off at camp (Poppy the GrandBear is recording the ceremonies for them) so I will have nothing better to do but watch American athletes compete with the rest of the world.
[While I was writing this I just got a call from Mr. Understanding who watched the ceremonies in an American sports bar in Shanghai. He and Mr. Fixit, his coworker, were welcomed like long lost brothers by a bunch of Brazilians they had met previously through work. A gente tem saudades do calor Brasileiro. Mr. Understanding says the show was amazing.]
In conclusion, I hope my readers will travel back in time thirty to forty years to when holding the Olympics in China would have been an impossibility. For a moment, forget about the smog, the defective toys, and Tibet. Watch the excitement and joy on the faces of the Chinese people, both athletes and spectators. It is genuine. They have come a long way in a short amount of time. This is their olive branch. Enjoy and accept it.