Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron
I hope this holiday is especially good to all of you, and that your time spent with family and friends (or, if you should be a party of one) is full of grace and kindness, and joy.
I flew in from Beijing this evening, had a bite to eat, and then settled into my pajamas to relax. It has been a cool couple of days (literally, and figuratively), and I’ve spent the past hour going through all the photos I took, and sending them off to family. Like I said earlier, there are too many stories to tell in one blog post, or ever; but the Cliff Notes version is that I went to tour the Olympic core in Beijing—the Water Cube, the Bird’s Nest, and so on—checked out the Dirt Market (where the beginning of TIGER EYE takes place)—and basically flitted about all my old haunts, occasionally seeing a familiar face here and there.
Here are two pictures of the Bird’s Nest stadium and Water Cube—at two different times of the day. As you’ll see in later pictures, the Water Cube is now doubling as a concert hall. A live orchestra plays at poolside every night, accompanied by a light and water show. I didn’t get a chance to see it, but I’ve heard very good things.
This is where Michael Phelps won his golds!
The Bird’s Nest is immense. I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to stand in the shadow of a stadium like that, which I promise you appears too impossible to have built. I still can’t fathom how they managed to wrap all that steel, or achieve such a seamless organic quality to the exterior—which is a work of art. The interior, of course, is just like any other stadium. More or less. You can still feel the energy, though.
Real turf beneath the fake stuff! Also, there’s a story behind that picture of the little girl and the security guards. My dad and I walk in to the stadium, only to hear this poor kid sobbing her eyes out for her mother. She was lost! And she was utterly distraught. Until one of the guards pulled out his cell phone—and man, that kid took charge. It was adorable. She grabbed that phone, dialed her mom, and within a minute the woman was there.
And finally, my favorite photo of all—of my dad and me.
Take care, everyone. Stay safe.