Friday, June 16, 2006

World Cup in China

Back in Beijing, about to start our transition to the new team, and stifling in the heat. Its 3o something apparently and certainly feels it. Though the evenings are great -great for sitting outside and eating or drinking and of course great for watching the World Cup on the big screens that every bar and club have put up. Or if you go one place there are 9 TVs inside and 2 big screens outside.. on the plus side there is way more capacity than demand, so its normally easy to find a place where you can sit, or at least see the screen (all the bars in the same district, conveniently).

The first game I watched in the British Bulldog pub in Shanghai. If the game was actually good the atmosphere might have been fantastic. As the game was not the best, neither was the atmosphere. Yesterday was better. Not many people bother to go out to watch a team unless it is there own, so when we were watching the switzerland -france game it was a great atmosphere of swiss and french. And its the same for every game -it makes every game fun. I heard the brazilians (Especially the women!) were the most fun so we're going to watch their next game!

Suprisingly a lot of Chinese people seem to be watching the World Cup (cumulatively about 10 billion people will watch games apparently) -so they just watch it on TV or for students on the internet (where we also watch ESPN 2's world cup programming through some software) -taxi drivers talk about it and a bunch of girl students too (maybe they just don't want to study, or want to find out what the fuss is all about). Since I am constantly reminded of how bad england are i can remind them that China did not qualify.

When we were in Shanghai a lot of people in the Pduong business district were being given holidays, or told to work an extra weekend instead of some work days. Why? Because the Shanghai government decided to close down the area where most big companies' offices are, due to the SCO meeting. I wonder what economic impact there is from this... It seems a bit drastic, even if it is for security purposes.

The SCO, by the way is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; a bunch of countries in the middle east/ex-soviet states talking about co-oepration, terrorism, enerrgy etc. In other words it is an anti-USA club. Especially since Iran is now an official observer in the organisation!

Time to buy yet another ice cream (just so cheap) and get back to work, which is not geared up for transition and wrapping up a few things. Just like last year its the crazy exam time, its the dangerous sun-umbrella period, and it seems like the 'rainy season' has unfortuantely ended already! At least the World Cup keeps life exciting, though does affect sleep patterns with the time difference...and alcohol consumption!


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