Friday, August 15, 2008

Does a picture weigh more than a thousand words?

The girl at the internet bar has informed me, via a conversation with no words understood by either of us, that I cannot plug in my USB card reader to share some photos with you, so I will have to opt for descriptions...
(but first, the internet bar: worth describing in its own right: pardon this digression: a dark, smoky set of about 5 rooms filled with about 200 computers total. Young teen and early 20's kids sit at more than half of them, wearing headphones, smoking. They seem to be watching tv online, chat via webcams, and other secret operations. Technoculture indeed.

Two pictures - which might be augmented by uploaded images in the future:

1. Interview with umbrella
After a series of sign ins, clearances, and disorienting van-rides through the treelined alleyways of America's own training center in Beijing (in which my DP Anne happened to accidentally send a giant switchback knife through the x-ray machine. Oops.), we arrive to a spot where we are allowed to meet up with and film Cheryl two days before her competition. The weather is sticky and hot, but we are not cleared to film indoors, so we position Cheryl's chair directly outside the open double doors where refeshing American Coldness (A/C) rushes outside plentifully. (Spreading the green lifestyle over here...)

After our usual painstaking setup, this time with the additions of - I'm not kidding - Kobe Bryant and his team walking by and saluting Ms. Haworth, as well as an appearance by a famous soccer player (Julie Foudy) and an even more famous football star (sorry I don't know his name, but perhaps one of my avid readers can supply this info?), we begin the interview.
And, just as Cheryl is telling us that she's doing well and moving into the Zone in preparation for her moment on Saturday, it begins raining.

The picture, taken by our FANTASTIC young helper/ interpretter/ guide whose name is, I'm not kidding, "Fairy," depicts us conducting the interview anyway. (this is, of course, well before the incredible deluge that happened shortly after we finished our interview.

Interjection before the next pictures:
Cabs here are:
a. amazingly cheap (30 minute ride costs about $3)
b. very interestingly scented: every single one is very distinctive and mostly good, but intensely fragrant. I should do a post about the smells of the cabs I've been in.
c. driven by a wide range of people: from the kindest you can imagine to one who was verging on insanity because I put a raindrenched bag down on his seat. Avoid that cabbie.

2. The spectacular spectators
We are filming location shots in the midst of the busy street and it turns out that we are very interesting to the onlookers we're looking at, which is a situation that raises many issues of privacy all at once. The image depicts Anne at work and at least a few men standing around her, craning their necks to get a look in the monitor. It's a bit too close for comfort at times, but then perhaps so is our presence...

Upcoming pictures: What I am learning about Chinese business people, turning myself into the authorities, the Birdsnest in person and the athletic performance of tourism and why world domination could come to pass.

Tomorrow is August 16th: why I'm here. And Cheryl competes at 7 pm!! People around the world: ROOT!!!

1 comment:

Lynn Ellen said...

I'm so glad you've been able to blog at all, and certainly more than you expected to, as it has been so interesting.

how can you "tivo" streaming video via the internet? oh well, at this point, I'm setting the alarm so I can watch.