We Beijingers have now survived our second day without the Games. I must say that there is a big sense of relief in the air. The event was not only safe, but Beijing simply did a great job in hosting this massive sporting event. Zhuhe! Zhuhe! Congratulations! Congratulations!
As it opened, the Games ended with a bang on Sunday night. Like everyone else in town I plopped myself in front of the TV to watch the closing ceremonies wondering how in the world the opening ceremonies might be topped. Not to worry, it wasn't. In fact, I found myself scratching my head through most of the show, wondering if someone had kidnapped Zhang Yimou and given the director's job to a CCTV hack instead. It was as cheesy and tedious as the annual Chinese New Year Gala Extravaganza broadcast on CCTV. Cloned 5 year olds with painted on smiles. Lots of women in prom dresses. Lights attached to everyone! And what was that pulsating pagoda all about? I did get a chuckle out of the men in suits who couldn't figure out how to wave the flags. Mercifully, it did not last long.
I will say that there was one part of the show I loved — the fireworks, especially the ones shot off from the building itself. I think there was enough fire-power attached to the Bird's Nest to send it and the 91,000 people inside into lower orbit.
Now that would have been something to watch!