Monday, May 12, 2008

Olympic Torch in Xiamen...

Ah, so in the long run up to the Olympics this summer, the torch is passing through all of the main cities in China and for Xiamen, today was the day that it ran around the island. After searching and asking around to all of our Chinese friends we had put together a rough outline of where it was going to pass, and we figured that, worst case, we would be able to follow the crowds. Just yesterday Howard, one of our friends, sent us a link that had the following map that really helped us to get a good idea of where we needed to be.

So, today I took a bus back from work shortly after noon, that alone is a full story as the roads were closed and the bus became overly packed with other people that all wanted to see the torch on its run through. It took me over two hours to complete what is normally a 40 minute bus ride, but once home Tina and I headed down to the street in front of our place to stake out a place along the fence...

It was close to the same thing we saw in Guangzhou, lots of people waving flags and lining up as the police tried to keep the crowds behind the small tape barriers that they had put up. We patiently waited until almost 17:00, that's just under a two hour wait, when suddenly you could hear cheering from the crowd further up the street. This sent a mob of people into the streets to greet and cheer the torch...





There were a few vans with advertisements, some police cars, buses, and some more police cars. Everybody cheered and jumped up and down and then that was it, everybody just started to walk away and go home...
What? Where was the torch? Ah, the torch carriers were in the buses - we managed to get a picture of them with their torches...
If you look closely you can see some of the torches being held by some of the runners. Huh, that doesn't seem worth a two hour wait.... Turns out that our map for the torch run had both a solid line and a dotted line, we were on the dotted line section, the section where the torch is bused between relay points.
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So, in our second attempt to see the torch we were closer to it then we were in Guangzhou, and we even saw the runners and the torches, but we still missed them actually running with the flame. Oh well, maybe in four years if we're living near London...
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Earthquake Update:
And, what with all of the commotion going on, we totally failed to feel the major earthquake that hit central China today. There were reports that it was felt in Beijing, Taipei, and as far south as Vietnam and Thailand, but we felt nothing at all here.

1 comment:

Lisa Wilson said...

Well at least you saw the bus carrying the runners and the torch!!
Did you guys feel the earthquake???? Kristin called my at 6am asking where you were in China!!!