The Bird’s Nest

Today and yesterday were the first two days of work, that means a lot of physical labor for a long time in hot weather. The whole idea is to build relationships with the people you work for and earn their trust. It’s also pretty cool to walk around the home of the Opening Ceremonies and Track and Field.

I got to walk out on the stage (which is built for the ceremonies and will be taken away and replaced with fresh sod and a track for the Track and Field events). It is without a doubt the biggest stadium I’ve ever been in and walked out on the surface. It was so surreal. In about a week there will be 90,000 people in the seats including some of the most powerful men of the world, plus thousands of athletes and participants in the Opening Ceremony.

I didn’t just walk around gawking at the stadium all day, I did actually work. The first two hours on Monday was spent moving bottles of water off of a pallet into a storage building that just tells you how low on the totem pole I am. My official job is camera assistant, but during set-up all the students are more or less interns, jumping whenever anyone needs help doing anything.

We run a lot of cables from building to building (there is a compound built behind the stadium that houses all the broadcast trucks and the location offices of TV networks NBC, BBC, CBC, and others. Today I helped the cameramen move these huge boxes that house their cameras and helped them setup. The cameramen are hilarious, and they are all from Finland. There are a lot of Fins in the compound as well as Belgians, Chinese, and Aussies. It’s a pretty diverse group but everyone is great.

I’ve seen some of the rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies and it’s going to be incredible I encourage you all to watch, and if you don’t like it then you can blame me. Tomorrow is a full practice for all of us so I should see the whole thing. I know you want me to take pictures or at least give you full descriptions of what to expect but I really can’t show you or tell you, I want to but I could get fired and deported.

A couple of quick things: Today was the first day we saw a blue sky and the sun, and that naturally means it was the coolest day temperature wise. It rained last night and that cleared a lot of the smog from the area and cooled it down. I expect to see more and more blue skies as the games get closer. The government can shoot a “rain bomb” into the sky that makes it rain and clears the air, which allows you to actually see buildings in front of you.

Also, I think I lost my iPhone in a taxi yesterday, that sucks. I think it slipped out when I was pulling out a map because our driver was lost. My friend who paid didn’t grab a receipt so we couldn’t directly track the cab. The group at our front desk called the company to try and track it down but at this point they told me it can’t be found. It’s days like that I wish I drank, heavily.

I’ll send some pics of the National Stadium and the Water Cube. The Cube is the home to swimming and lights up at night, I’ll try to get some pics of that tomorrow night after work. I’m also going to send a picture of the Dragon Hotel; it is right next door to the National Stadium and just looks cool, I took that today since the air was so clear. The last two show the difference in air quality, one is from my first night out of my hotel window and the other is from tonight.

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