Signs of the Games: Smiling Coppers
This sign spans the road between the Olympic Village and MediaLand, which includes the Main Press Center and the International Broadcast Center. I walked the journey with two coaches from the Australian Swim Team on Tuesday, only to be told that media couldn't enter, at least not from that gate. But the sign was worth the journey, and the Australian swim team coaches said this is the nicest media village in which they've ever stayed.
As for the validity of the "smiling" claim, I'm not too sure who's traffic police and who's not, but there are certainly lots of smiling people in uniforms, most of whom shake their heads no and point in some other direction whenever you approach.
Let me also use this occasion to briefly explain how journalists here get around: they sit in shuttle buses and wait for someone to tell them when and where they're going. For example, from the Beijing Tibet Hotel to MediaLand would be perhaps two miles, but it's next-to-impossible to traverse that distance on foot, due to massive fencing installations. The construction tool, not the sport. So anyhow, we sit in buses and drive in circles and it generally takes something like 15 or 20 minutes to go the two miles. And no, I'm not complaining, because it allows me play brickbreaker on my BlackBerry.
UPDATE: Yeah, a night on the town in Beijing has convinced me: this Beijing Olympic traffic makes driving through D.C. appear like a joyful backyard wagon ride through Madison County. It's nasty out there. Unless you've got one of those full-time drivers with clearance to use the Olympic lane and a willingness to flout all known traffic laws while playing chicken with drivers from several continents at once. Thank you, Washington Post.
Posted by: Colm | August 5, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: twoeightnine | August 5, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse
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