There’s a familiar scent in the air. It’s frantic, it’s chaotic, it’s riotous, and its secured. It’s in our changing skyline, our slight population surge, and it’s smeared across that huge hotel across from the art gallery… yes, world… this is Canada, in case you didn’t know already.
Even my educational institution, Simon Fraser U, has become a major traffic hub for the games. Doitch fills the airwaves at the downtown campus. Tile has turned hardwood and faux walls are in place. Blue-lit backdrops and movie set spotlights hang from above. Harbour centre is now recognizable as the German Haus of Broadcasting.
Burnaby Mountain campus is hip-hop-happenin’ too. The concrete roads are being ripped up and smoothed out overnight, an increase of bus police making sure everyone is loaded onto the 145 safe and securely. The pavement scene yesterday was very reminiscent of my experiences in Beijing, a few months prior to the summer 2008 olympics.
Here is an exerpt from my travelblog at the time…
“… Streets are being ripped up, torn up, and built up… the same goes for parks… grass being lifted off the ground to make way for a brand new sheet of greens to be laid down the next day… and even the trees are changing from brown to green overnight – literally… one day they were there, the next they were uprooted, leaving large holes in the sidewalk, and a few days later new trees put back in! Not to mention the what must be thousands of dollars being spent of putting millions of potted pink red purple and orange and yellow flowers into every inch of soil lining the roads in the Chaoyang district. If there’s any place that can master a full city makeover in such a fast period- its Beijing. The feeling in the air right now is so different than just 3 weeks ago. Summer is coming, the games are beginning, and this is going to be BIG.
Feverosa Olympica” (read more of this blog here)
I don’t think we’ve been transplanting grass or trees, but we’re definately taking the paralleled Winter approach by choppering around bundles of fluffy white snow. The biggest difference between the two cities, however, was an unquestioned sense of olympic optimism among the locals in Beijing… and a +$900m security budget in Vancouver to stave off rioters.
I’d be a hypocrite to fully support the anti-olympic movement now… the Olympic Fever has found me a small pocket of cash to be made in the next few weeks as an Ambassador to the cbc… Watch out for my big shiny whites grinning away and fumbling through ni haos, bonjours, and guten tags. hola!
Going for a lil cycle around the seawall now… see what sticky situations I can spy… these next few weeks are going to be fun! stay tuned.