Quick update… although we don’t use this as our personal blog, this is a good time to mention I’ve just arrived in Beijing. Everyone in my family is fighting upper-respiratory infections (picked up in the US), and at times I wasn’t sure we’d make the flight… but we’re here.
It’s great to be here. Beijing is cloudy/foggy upon arrival, and apparently has been a few days. The new terminal is as gorgeous as advertised. The airpot is filled with Olympic volunteers, you can find 3-4 bright-eyed bushy-tailed college student volunteers every few hundred feet. The service and attitude has been superb; breezed through security and customs in record time.
Beijing roads are far better than I remember; great majority of drivers are obeying traffic laws to the letter. Traffic on the airport expressway was light, and also reasonable on Chang’an Jie, partly because the newly introduced even/odd license plate restriction has halved the number of private cars. But Second Ring Road East was still very backed up… primarily because one of the three lanes has been carved out for Olympic traffic only.
On the Internet (Great Firewall) side of things, I can confirm that indeed, many previously blocked sites are directly available. Boxun, some of the 6/4 sites (but NOT all), MITBBS ChinaNews, Playboy… Maybe it’s all just a show to fool the Westerners into thinking China isn’t a prison camp, but any show that involves 20 million people is still something to see.
The plan over the next few weeks is to eat, drink, perhaps do a little business, and most importantly, take my daughter to see the Olympic pandas. I’ve never pretended to be a “citizen journalist”, so I’m not here to gather news. But I will be more than happ to share pictures, videos, and anything else that I come across.
Go Beijing, Go China, Go Olympics!