The ceremonies were pretty and shiny, and done with a precision that I could not comprehend. All I could think of was the hours, days, weeks (years?) that was put in by the 15,000 volunteers as they went from one amazing routine to another. China definitely put on a happy, welcoming face for all the world to see, but I couldn't help but compare it to the poor kid forced to smile as Mommy and Daddy puts on the "functional family"act when company comes over to visit. But, hey, I'm a cynic. Cynicism aside, though, from what I saw, the people of Beijing should be proud of their achievement.
Then, this morning, I read an on-line article about how the "stone faces" of the police and military is scaring the tourists. The IOC is suggesting that the police should "smile more". The head of the IOC Marketing Committee was quoted as saying:
"The Chinese are scaring the wits out of foreigners. We can't have it like this. When, in addition, they have weapons and look scary, it is even worse."
Welcome to China.