Is Beijing ready for 2008?

This is just a random thought, and I don’t intend to link to any sources. Here are some observations I’ve seen when I went back in 2006.We all know Beijing is hosting the 2008 Olympics. Like past cities, most need to be modernized to accommodate the vast amounts of people and events. Beijing is building a new Olympic stadium, for the purpose of the special event. Below is construction. I didn’t see the actual place when I went back, but as I’ll assume and the location in the picture, it’s not too close to the main areas.

As you see, there’s a countdown timer for the Olympics near Tiananmen Square, near the Capital building I think. The addition of buildings isn’t bad, since it’s actually needed to host the Olympics. Where else can hundreds of thousands of people watch the events?

Something I think is wrong is the building of the National Opera House near Tiananmen Square. It’s almost done, but I didn’t see much of it stuck in traffic. Idea of an opera house is good. Chinese opera is very different, and it’d be a unique experience. But building it around Tiananmen Square doesn’t fit well. From a sight-seeing view, the history there is immense. I don’t want to see a modern, futuristic opera house near the old, infamous government history. Some may want to see an Opera House, and built it. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine.

If you’ve experience traffic, it’s quite hectic. Beijing traffic, in my opinion, is pretty bad. I’ve waited for 1-2 hours just to get past a few blocks. Tons of cars and bikes. Plus, you add in taxis, hundreds of buses, busy and angry commuters, and it’s like any other city on the world. Except that chinese traffic laws aren’t great. In Beijing, it’s modernized and mostly under control, but the amount of vehicles and people. New experience in crossing the street. They need to fix this traffic before 2008, or people will be stuck in places for hours. Haven’t experienced this kind of severe traffic jam in Beijing, but imagine it being the current times, and think how many more vehicles in 2008.

Lastly, there’s the people. Beijing is already an international destination spot. People go there to get a new in-sight on the China and for intl. business. As you walk down Wangfujing Street, the main shopping street in Beijing, it’s crowded. Now, add millions more in 2008, and that’s one of the many reasons that make me not go back. I’ll rather go back in 2009, after the crowds have died down, and by then I’m done with anything school-related, and have some freedom. Drink, sleep, and visit the past.

Don’t let my opinion stop you from visiting though. These issues just stood out and said “fix me!”, though that’s easier said than done. Beijing is great and it still makes me want to go back and also since it’s my native land. Just avoid 2008 if you don’t plan to see any Olympics. Everything will still be there after 2008. Just less crowded. And here’s something you can find around Beijing: Olympic plush dolls.

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