8 (Somewhat Crazy) Things China Will Do to Get Ready for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
The Games are slated to commence on Aug. 8, 2008, a date carefully chosen by the Chinese for its significance in numerology. (Quote from this article at The Wall Street Journal)
Significance in ‘numerology’ my donkey. 8-8-08. If you don’t know what this really means, I’ll tell you at the end of this post. But for now, let me add my own modified eight to the mix:
8 Things China Will Do to Get Ready for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
The article referenced above does a good job describing the moves China are taking (& will take) for the fast approaching 2008 Olympics. Here is my own list, based off of this article & other readings, guesswork, and past observations of special event preparations in China:
- Spraying the Grass & Trees Green (Plus green lighting at night to make you think you have entered a fairy forest land) – Yes, China sprays the grass green for important events. Wonder how much paint they’ll need for the Olympics?
- Rain Making Rockets & Other Weather Controlling Equipment – If you can’t keep the rain away, at least you can try to make it rain buckets a day before the major event.
- Shutting Down Businesses and the few Remaining City Factories at Least a Week Ahead of the Games – This has been discussed in depth as one tactic China will use to help make the skies a little cleaner for the Games.
- Keeping Most Cars off the Road Two Weeks Before and Through the Closing Ceremony – It doesn’t matter if you own a car in Beijing during the Olympics, if you don’t hold an important position or have tons of money, you’re not going to be able to drive.
- Rounding Up and Shipping Out Any Beggars & Other Miscreants Before the Games Start – Don’t wear rag-like clothing as Olympics draw near. You might be rounded up and shipped to the countryside without prior warning.
- Periodic Inspections to Make Sure Foreigners Aren’t Being Sold Any Cardboard Filled Dumplings – Cardboard is not so tasty.
- Implementing Massive English Learning Crash Course for Anyone to come in Contact with Foreigners During the Games – My guess is this means no taxi drivers are going to be allowed to do business in Beijing during the Olympics. Instead, massive amounts of students from around the country will pour in to direct people to the buses or subway stations that lead to the various events.
- Doubling the Size of the Subway System & Highway System in Beijing – Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s close enough to reality. Right after winning the right to host the Olympics, Beijing immediately went to work expanding its public infrastructure.
So What Does 8-8-08 Mean?
In Chinese, the number 8 sounds very much like the first part of “get rich” (ba is “eight” and sounds like fa – facai means to become rich) 8-8-08 is basically a call for China to get filthy rich. It’s as good of a date as any to set the opening ceremony, but the implication that it has ancient meaning is a little bit off the mark.