I had this post started yesterday but ran out of time to publish so SLIGHTLY out of date now that it’s cloudy but still relevant because I believe the sun will return tomorrow, the Olympic fever is more apparent today on the day of the Opening Ceremony and most importantly, the people are still smiling!
Well the sun has come out and so have the smiles. For a country that experiences SO much rain, the locals here do handle it pretty well in all fairness, but when the sun comes out boy do they know how to appreciate it! All day long you see small greens dotted around the city PACKED with people, catching a little sun on their lunch break, or even just after work before heading home. Everyone overall seems happier, they are all dressed in summery clothes, more people are on the bikes making the most of the beautiful city on their way to work, and the whole city just seems to be smiling. It’s a fantastic atmosphere. This time around, because most of the ‘summer’ has been more like winter it is even better and people are out in force, despite the traffic disruptions and potential for transport chaos facing everyone.
It probably helps that there is a huge amount of Olympic fever all over the place at the moment too. The City really has made the most of it – creating a festival to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics – free gigs all over the place, this awesome extended bandstand thing , paid gigs, free theatre events, pop up shows, pop up shops, paid theatre events, art exhibitions, colourful flags all over the city, sculptures, buskers, you name it, this city has it. I guess one of the only problems has been communicating all of this. Personally some of what’s been going on I’ve only stumbled across by chance, others I’ve heard something vague about and had to go searching on the tedious Festival 2012 website which is only good if you know what you’re searching for, and others I’ve not even realised were on until after the fact.
All over the place there are National Hospitality Houses as well, featuring food, music, art or activities that highlight the relevant nation’s culture, welcoming the supporters and enriching people’s understanding of who they are and what’s important to them.
It really is a great place to be at the moment, the only downside being that I also have to keep working so can’t get out and about and enjoy the 32 degree heat, the smiling faces, the flowing booze, the music and buzz… until after 6pm that is!