Well, the big day has arrived… The day of the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
I feel like I should tell my Chinese friends, “Ok, everyone can breathe now.” This day has been so highly anticipated for so long, I’m afraid there is going to be some let-down when things don’t live up to the unrealistic expectations many have manufactured for the 2008 Summer Games.
With the Olympics finally coming to China, tens of thousands of young people have rushed to marry or deliver babies.
The Games are due to open on Friday, or 08/08/08. “Eight” is a lucky number among the Chinese, and many couples plan to tie the knot on the “triple 8 day.” Civil affairs authorities have predicted that Friday could set a one-day record for marriages since 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded.
As a lucky day, 08/08/08 is also a favorite for many pregnant women. In central Chinese city of Changsha, Hunan Province, several hospitals have increased the number of beds for expectant mothers.
”I want to have an Olympics baby on Aug. 8. It is such a special day worth remembering,” said a 38-year-old woman surnamed Xie at the Hunan Provincial Maternal and Children Health Hospital.
At the request of Xie and several other expectant mothers, doctors will help them undergo Caesarean births on Friday, said a head nurse surnamed Li at the hospital.
”We advised them that natural births are better, but they are eager to have Olympic babies,” Li said.
If all of this strikes you as a bit over the top, well it may be, but it’s also exactly the way the Chinese want it to be.
It appears that the Chinese are not the only ones taking advantage of “triple 8 day”, President George Bush attended the dedication of the 600,000-square-foot US embassy in Beijing with his father, former President George H.W. Bush. The elder Bush once served as U.S. ambassador to China.
As many of you know, thanks in part to the 2008 Olympics, I am in Hong Kong right now working on getting visas for my family and I to live in China. What would have normally been a simple process, has become a bit of a red-tape nightmare.
It’s not all bad though. I LOVE Hong Kong, so if I have to be ‘stuck’ somewhere, this is the place!
Oh, and there is a bit of Olympic spirit here, nearly 1,000 miles south of Beijing, as the equestrian events of the Olympic games are all being held here in Hong Kong.