THE CHINESE ARE CUTTING BACK ON SMOKING, CURSING, AND SPITTING, FOR THE DURATION OF THE OLYMPICS
We had no idea that Beijing is bending over backwards to make their city appealing to foreigners for the Olympic summer games starting August 8. The 43 billion dollar event called for a new stadium, architectural airport terminal, and new transportation lines.
Beijing is notoriously polluted and the Chinese don’t want contestants choking, so they are cutting the city traffic in half. Work hours are being staggered, and if the last number on a car’s license plate is even, they can drive one day, and the odd numbers can drive the next. Forty million pots of flowers were ordered and a forest TWICE the size of Central Park was created near the Olympic stadium to improve air quality.
Restaurants are setting aside smoking areas and taking DOG off the menu. 90,000 taxi drivers got special training and etiquette lessons are flourishing. 17 million people took an online manners course that bans spitting in public and encourages people to stand in line politely for the bus.
The government is chasing “undesirables” out of town – beggars, migrants, masseuses, fortunetellers, street vendors etc – for the duration of the event. 1.5 million people have been moved to make space for Olympic projects (and they don’t dare complain.) DVD stores have been told to keep their pirated Hollywood movies out of sight. It IS endearing, in some twisted way, that they want to make such a good impression. (Photos above are the airport and stadium)