If you don't have an amazing time at the Olympics, try, try, try again. I met some cool people recently and hung out with them this afternoon. They had bought tickets online for the women's soccer semis, and I went with them on the subway since I didn't have anywhere I had to be. Then we got closer to the stadium and saw people selling tickets, and I couldn't resist. 300 kuai lighter (100 of that being Bekah's loan) I had a ticket to an important Olympic game.
America was playing, which made this twice as cool. And, of course, you might even have watched it (or will watch it, depending on NBC's mood) on tv. The New York Times had the result of this game on their home page! I was there. Watching us kick Japan's butt.
Japan was actually the best opponent we could have had, because after WWII, the Chinese hate Japanese. The 40,000+ crowd joined in bilingual cheers rooting on America.
The ticket I bought gave me a perfect seat: at the front of the second tier, right in center field. But I snuck into the lower level for the second half to hang out with the people I came with. We had a great time.
Afterward, we talked to one of the players' mom, since my friends knew their family.
Coming back home is part of the story, of course, but this time it has a happy ending. The game ended late and I only took the subway partway home. When I got a taxi, I told the driver, "Take me to Wangjing Bridge, South Nanhu Street." He said sure, then asked which place on the street. "I'll tell you when we get there," I said.
Again he agreed. "But there's a different way I could go," he said. Since I've been in Beijing a while, I knew that the road I was talking about was really long.
"The place I'm going is right by the bridge," I said. And that was the right answer, because then he said that his other route wouldn't be helpful.
I leave the day after tomorrow, (although with a hurricane coming, when I'll actually get home is a different question) and it was nice to have a chance to use the local knowledge I've acquired being in China so long.