Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

Of Rehearsals and Security

Last July 29, the National Stadium hosted the second dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies. It was gloomy, windy and smelled like it’s gonna rain. I took the subway from my office to the Bird’s Nest via line 10. As it was my first time to ride this line to the Bird’s Nest, I wasn’t as confident as usual. The hallway which connects line 10 to line 8 was barricaded and questions to volunteers lead me to a path outside. Once I exited C1, I was out on the road with no signs whatsoever which had me confused. Line 8 at present is only used by staff and volunteers connected to the Olympics. I had to go through security as if I was in the airport. Once that was completed, I had to go back down to the station again and ride line 8.

Anyway, the stop I was supposed to get off to was close so I had to get off the next stop. When I got off, I was amazed by my surroundings. It was totally different and beautiful. The serenity and the quaintness of my surroundings was worth the long walk back to the Bird’s Nest.

So I arrived at 4pm and at level 0, there were throngs of people moving around. Some of them are wearing make up, while others are in full costume. No pictures were allowed and security was very strict. I enjoyed watching and observing the people inside and I can’t wait for the rehearsal to start.

The rehearsal started at 8pm and it was amazing. The costumes were so colorful and the way they presented it was good. The only thing that was a little bit off was the sound system and the broadcasting. I hope they improve much better at tomorrow’s rehearsal. Just like what was reported, there were warriors and kung fu artists, the moving scroll and some music performances. I like some of the performances while others were just ok. I asked some of my colleagues and they have the same comments. Some were ok and some were good.

Around 10pm, the heavens opened up and it poured. It was a good thing, it was almost towards the end. I know they cut some of the performances and there was no firework display. The parade of delegates was a bit chaotic. There was no order on which they announce the countries and boy! it was a long parade. Of course, the last country would be China and you can hear everyone cheering.

I guess the best place to watch the event would be in Section A, level 2. I was watching at level 1 at that time and I can’t make up some of the pictures and writings they’ve shown. The TV broadcast inside didn’t help as well as the people performing were like ants on screen. I also didn’t enjoy the volunteers who were standing on the aisle waving their flashlights and leading the crowd on to cheer. It was so cheesy and it blocks the view for some people.

I hope everything will work out well during the Opening Ceremonies. I can’t wait till tomorrow to watch the fireworks display. I can’t really announce anything about the opening beyond what was already reported or else I’ll be banned like SBS Korea who showed a footage of the show on TV. This performance is like a state top secret that cannot be outed before the opening. So, I’ll leave you here and I’ll give you more news from the Nest and in the Olympics. I’ll try to post some more pictures but probably when the Olympics start. Don’t worry it’s only 7 days away.

*Pictures lifted from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

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