Since the last post, I have found the market we looked for, and went shopping there a couple times. It was a lot of fun bargaining with the vendors. I spent 20 minutes trying to get away from a vendor lady who was trying to sell me a Peak Performance jacket that I didn't want. She started out at 520 RMB, and when I resisted her long enough that she went down to 130 RMB, I decided I would bargain with her, and offered it for 100 RMB. I got it for 110. Haha. Jeremy got some good video footage of that chaos. It's a nice jacket.
As far as work goes, I have yet to go into work any earlier than 9:30am (that changes tomorrow), which is completely different than what I expected. Work is great. I love the people I work with. We spent our first full day today shooting Archery. My crew (Hank and Ada) was in the "Blinds" (a box about halfway between the archers and the targets that sits off to the side and allows us to shoot the archers from a front angle). It was hot in there, but we survived. Hank taught me some Tai Chi while we were in there. We can take free classes at the Media Village, and if I have time, I may check it out. It's pretty cool. The few days ago, all the ENG crews went to the Tennis venue to check it out because we'll be working there tomorrow, and Roger Federer was practicing. We spent a good deal of time just hanging out in the seats close to the court watching him. I posted some pics from it on my picasaweb site. That was pretty darn cool.
Now let's talk Opening Ceremony...
IT WAS AMAZING!!
To start it all off, none of our ENG crews were assigned to work the ceremony, so we were all bumming about it. The night before, we all get phone calls telling us to report to work at 4pm the next day (we were originally told to take the day off), so we all got excited. Jeremy, Adam, Tim, Matt, Marian, and I were the only ones that actually got to "work" the ceremony. The others had other assignments. I say "work" because we were technically working, but all we really did was sit and watch the whole thing. Also, Marian didn't actually work it. She got a ticket through a contact she had in the upper echelons of the Olympic broadcast. So, we were all pumped to be there, and thank God that we were because it was so awesome. I kept thinking about how blessed I was to be there. The performance moved me like no other performance in my life. It couldn't help but think about how around the world some of these countries are waring with one another, and here, for these 2-3 weeks, we are all united. The realization of that reality made the atmosphere in the Bird's Nest all the more bone-chilling. I was actually moved to the brink of tears during the "You and Me" song when the globe came out of the ground and the faces of children worldwide came onto the screens. I have a ton of respect for the ceremony's director. I feel like he unleashed every centimeter (they use the metric system here of course) of his artistic ability into that ceremony. An American opening ceremony could not top what I saw last night. China raised the bar for Opening Ceremonies in my opinion. The torch lighting was absolutely amazing as well. I still can't figure out how they got the torch into position during the parade. I wasn't paying attention. I predicted that it would be up there somewhere though. Hank didn't believe me. I also predicted that the torch bearer would fly up to the torch. Once again, Hank didn't believe me. I'm just that good.
Not to rub it in anyone's face or anything, but it is impossible to know what that ceremony was truly like without having actually been there in person. TV could not do that experience justice (I know because I watched some of it this morning). I say that just to let you all know just how stinking awesome of a ceremony it was. Absolutely amazing! Once in a lifetime, and I thank God so much for allowing me to be there, and not just there, but here at the Olympics in general. I can't get over how blessed I am to be here.
Well, I hope you all are doing well. I'll keep you updated on how the rest of sports shooting goes. Tomorrow, we've got a full day of shooting tennis, and then we're going to the USA vs. China basketball game later in the evening. I'm pumped about that.
Goodnight and God bless ya'll!