Thursday, July 31, 2008

the olympic village, usa house, and pirates

the official slogan of the Beijing Olympic Games
Again, I apologize for not keeping up with the blog.

In the past few days, work has eased up considerably. But I feel as though this lull in activity is the calm before the storm. There is no daily routine, so everyday is a new experience filled with different challenges. One obstacle I’ve encountered pretty much every day is giving people directions to the operation center. If you know anything about me, you would know that I’m slightly directionally challenged. Being in China makes finding places significantly harder. Sometimes I feel as though some people look at me, see that I’m Chinese, and then think that I have an innate sense of where everything is. Sad to say, I’m usually as lost as they are. Despite navigational dilemmas, we’ve thankfully only gotten lost once (we were dropped off at the South gate of BNU, rather than the East gate).

Since the last time I posted, much has happened: I’ve visited the village, seen the outside of the USA house, and talked to a lot of Chinese drivers.

Our (Kelley and my) adventure into the village was quite exhilarating, though shorter than I would’ve liked. The complex itself is massive, and I mean HUGE. I doubt that I even came close to seeing the village in its entirety. Luckily enough, we were escorted into the residential area of the village, and so we got to see the athlete quarters. On my run with the courier I visited USA house, but sadly stood outside translating.

USA House, at least the outside because i didn't get to go inside

me in the coach's lounge at the olympic village, just checking emails

Language remains a constant barrier, despite the fact that I’m mostly fluent. I will admit that I will never stop being a student of the Chinese language. Nevertheless, I’m thankful for the opportunity to practice my Chinese in a more real-world setting and dabble in the art of translating. Recently, I feel as though my English ability has been slipping. Everything I attempt to express in English doesn’t sound quite right, especially when writing. What is most difficult and strange is when multiple people speak to me at the same time, trying to get their point across to the person that is standing right next to them. Of the many Beijingers I’ve encountered since coming to China, I’m coming to realize that the arghh (kind of like a pirate) is more pronounced in some individuals than others. Though I hate to generalize, argh’s are much more noticeable in the taxi drivers; whereas, the concierge girls at the Hilton speak less like Captain Blackbeard. One of my goals for Beijing is to start sounding like a pirate…

1 comment:

WorldmedTourism said...

8-8-2008 is a good day