Sunday, August 10, 2008, 9:05 AM

Opening Ceremonies at the Olympic Games

The opening ceremony was absolutely spectacular!

That the performance unfolded on an open scroll of a picture is a brilliant idea. The entire show displayed the richness of China's culture and was filled with beautiful colors and texture. There wasn't any blood pumping central piece of music. But overall, the music was beautiful. The torch is absolutely beautiful. Its form resembles the end of an unfolding scroll (another brilliant idea), with red and "lucky cloud" decoration.

The weather on the first day of the Games was not bad at all. We actually saw the blue sky and white clouds in the afternoon. It was so sunny that I wore my sun glasses most of the day. The air was still a little smoggy though. It looked like there was a thin veil hanging in the air all the time. We didn't have any tickets for the day. So, we decided to go to the Bird's Nest just to hang out. Unfortunately, we found out pretty quickly that without tickets to any of the events being held there, we were not allowed to even go near the Stadium. The closest we could get was several blocks away, across a couple of highways. There were a lot of people there, Chinese and non-Chinese, all trying to get a close look of the Bird's Nest and the flame and taking pictures. We were very disappointed. I wish they had set up some activities for the general public who are unable to get tickets to the Games but want to participate in some form. With everything I've seen and heard so far, it seems to me that the only thing the Beijing Olympic Organization focuses on is to make sure the Games go smoothly. Creating a positive, enjoyable and memorable experience for the local people and visitors around the world doesn't seem to be part of their plan or concern.

Nonetheless, we are still having a good time. Just being here is exciting, and we've got a ton of souvenirs.

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