Laughter, horror, frustration

CCTV had a professional badmitton tournament on the other day. It was about the funniest thing I have seen in months. So serious, so intense, so … badmitton. I’m sorry, people, I know you are athletes, but you simply cannot look cool smashing a shuttlecock. And lest you think this is a comment on Chinese culture I’ll note that the combatants were Euro of some flavor. (Implicit comment on Chinese viewing habits, I s’pose.)

Today in the antiques market I came within inches of slicing off a parabola of projectile vomit with my chest. Luckily this happened to me in Shanghai, also in a market — not kidding — so I was more than normally alert to being barfed on and I was able to leap out of the way. Shoes got a bit, though. What the hell?

Back in early 1996 in Atlanta people decried the traffic paralysis that would acommpany the Olympics. This never happened. People took public transport (which of course caused all kinds of other problems) and I-75/85 was no more sclerotic than usual. So maybe things will be OK in 2008, but I fear so much worse. Beijing is six rings of traffic hell. Rush hour does not exist. It just is. Arrrrrghhh!