Friday, August 8, 2008
The Olympic’s off games
I jump in the car and can’t wait for it to be eight o’clock to watch the ceremony in the yurt. We arrive far from the city. In front of a yurt, a woman is milking a cow and dad and I film her. Then I see a girl that has just received her first cell phone, she’s happy. I enter the yurt but since I don’t bend over enough, I bump my head and now it hurts a lot. Inside, there’s a small television, a grandmother waiting and like in each yurt, a kind of chimney in the middle. After having seen the interior, I go back outside to play with a goat that runs away so I can’t catch it. There’s only 15 minutes before the ceremony. I go back into the yurt but this time, without bumping my head. The yurt’s chief turns on the television but to a Mongolian channel. Since I see that at 7:58 pm the Mongolian station isn’t showing the opening ceremony, I change the channel to CCTV, the equivalent of France Télévision in China, and there I see 40 and ten seconds later 30 until it reaches 0. It’s a countdown. Then, the show begins with children and adults dancing, playing and singing together with such a surprising synchronization that they seem to be machines programmed to do these movements. In the end, it’s a magical and unforgettable show. The Mongolians watch with much attention this ceremony that seems surrealist to them. The boy who is about 9 years-old watches with much envy and joy this ceremony that will fill him for life with many sentiments. For me, the moment I appreciate the most is the procession of the different countries with the flag holders, the joy of the supporters and especially the joy of the athletes representing the earth that saw them grow up, mature and allowed them to become who they are today. However, in the middle of these moments we are thrown out by the yurt’s family when they tell us that the grandmother is tired. I’m not happy and take my time to watch the most countries as possible. In truth, the countries I want to see the most are France, Iran and Azerbaijan because of my origins, Monaco because of my love for the South-East of France, and Egypt, Portugal Cap-Vert, Haiti, and Italy which are my best friends’ countries of origin, and also the United States because I like that country. We hit the road and I hope that Ayin will go fast enough. Before arriving at the hotel, we come across a shop where the owner had put his television in his shop-window and in front of which dozens of people are watching these countries march ahead. I see France passing on the small screen and I put my hand on my heart while I filming. When France had finished passing, we take the car to go to the hotel but there again we are stopped by a giant screen in the middle of the street this time and we stop to watch Azerbaijan go by and I find that the athletes look a lot like the men and women that we find in the streets of Baku. A few minutes go by and then the five people representing the principality of Monaco march by and I see Prince Albert II and his companion cheering the five representatives of Monaco. I get back in the car and Ayin brings us to the hotel and while dad works in the room, I stay downstairs in the entrance to watch the rest of the opening ceremony. That’s when I see the other countries that I hadn’t see yet except for Iran that I don’t see at all. The last country to pass is China and everyone clapped and it was such a spectacular installation that we have the impression that the Chinese athletes represent more than half the total number of athletes. I also watch the last passing of the torch and the speeches of President Hu Jintao and of the President of the IOC and the pledges of the sportsmen and referees. Tomorrow we have to leave early. I hurry to go to bed and when I’m finally ready, I sink into the blanket and sleep.