The "Bird's Nest" and "Water
Cube" were certainly attracting a good crowd. Dozens of cars were parked on the hard shoulder of the three
lane highway, and perhaps fifty people were taking photographs of the stadia and of each other standing in front of them.
One woman looked as if she had just come from a nightclub: her bare midriff looking decidedly out of place as she
bravely smiled at her friend as he encouraged her to say "qiezi" [aubergine], which results in a similar expression
A group of young men, who were from
the west of Beijing, were asked why they had come here when it was so cold and windy: “It’s the first day of the New Year,” said one. “Our Year!” shouted another...
“We wanted to see the Bird’s Nest on this special day!”
Despite the busy road, and despite the dangerously high chill factor, everyone there was revelling in a kind
of party spirit. But what do the people building the Bird's Nest think about it? Do they share the same
enthusiasm as the excited onlookers?
may be a national holiday, but it’s a day like any other for the thousands of workers building the structure.
The foreman of one of the gangs of workers, Mr Zhu (the name of a famous poet, he says) was in a jolly mood.
he said, “have you come to look at what we’ve built.”
I congratulated him on
his workmanship and asked him some more questions:
“We’re all from Baoding in Hebei province. There are sixty of us
here; the oldest is Mr Zheng over there, he’s 48; and this is ‘Wang', he’s only 22.
working on this for a year and will finish in May.”
I asked him what he planned to do after that:
“Go home for a rest!”
he said laughing.
“We don’t know what we will do next, but I’m sure something will come up. It
“What about the Olympics,” I asked, “Will you be able to come back and watch
“My boss will give me 6 tickets to dish out to my best workers. So, yes, I and they
will come back for a day or two.”
“Who do you think will win the most gold medals?” was perhaps a silly question,
but I asked it anyway.
“China, of course!”
At this he led his team in a chorus of “Zhongguo dui, jia you!” ["Come on, China!"]