Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hunting for 1 of the 208 Olympic Torches in Kunming

Monday morning I was extremely excited to see the 2008 Olympic torch come through Kunming. This would be a one time offering of the Olympic torch to come through the city I currently live in, and the probabilistically, them same happening in my life time would be near zero. The previous night my nephew got details of the official route off the web. It was to start from the famous Stone Forest (World Heritage site) at 8:30am and make its way in to the city. We decided to catch a glimpse of it at Green Lake Park. Once we got there we found out that the route had been changed and was not going the long distance as planned. I suppose the organizers fear the Dalai Clan would cause problems, Yunnan being the closest province and the beginning of the to Tibetan plateau. My wife got tired of trekking around the city hunting for the torch and decided to spend her time shopping; while my nephew and I decided to continue the hunt. It was 11am and we thought we could catch the afternoon session near the Expo Village at 1:00pm. Riding the bus along Beijing Lu (road) we saw hordes of fans gathered at Dong Feng Square. We were convinced, with the amount of people gathered as well as the police presence, the torch was bound to come through the square; hopped off the bus. Then to our disappointment we learned that of the 208 torch exchanges that were to happen in Kunming, already 200 had been completed. The event that was to last the entire day ended in the morning. The city had issued special invitations to big shots and there henchmen to attend, leaving the general public out. I guess the Olympics are not for the ordinary but for the class that the ordinary don't belong!