Greetings everyone. I'm still in China, and desperately trying to get anyone interested in the Olympics. When it was in Beijing there was near universal frenzy. Now it's in some far off little island off the coast of Europe it hardly seems worth getting active about. The opening ceremony can't possibly compete with Beijing, and when I point out that we might not have cash to flash, but we are damn-sight more original, entertaining and artistic.. I might as well have insulted the national pride. But they declare emphatically as if playing a trump card we Chinese are just more energetic. And on this point I cannot argue.
I read in the Times that 63% of British people are classified as inactive. They are hoping the Olympics will inspire us to get off our lazy backsides and do the hurdles or long jump of an evening rather than slumped in front of the box watching Corrie. I don't know what the inactive percentage of Chinese people is but I'd like to bet its close to zero.
As far as I can see the average Chinese person is up early doors, breakfast in cheap cafe en-route to work, ten hours then a meal.. latest about 6.30pm in some hectic cafe on the way home. Whereas in Europe we like to linger after food, chatting, order another coffee, perhaps a brandy. The second they have finished eating its.. OK then we are off. Bill please. And what do they do after dinner, of an evening.. let me tell you 99% do dancing in the dark.
Really. Back in the UK parks are hardly occupied after dark, if they are we don't really want to know what goes on. In China, all over China after dark a billion folk have got themselves dressed nicely and hit the parks to dance. Flamenco, tango, classical, disco and some strange Chinese line dancing that they seem to love right now. In the park next to my apartment, I counted twenty dance classes, some with as many as 200 members. Young folk and very old, children and teenage girls. Its all very friendly and jolly. The foreign guy (me) is waved at and invited to dance, old ladies want pull me in. So much energy been expended it made me feel faint.
Each dance group has a sufu.. or master who will charge you about 1000rmb (about £100) for a years membership, but a night or two for free is fine. They bring the music, a blurry amp box and the cool moves. With some of the groups I really couldn't work out who was the sufu and what music they were dancing too, maybe if you just copy the person next to you it kind of evolves like a huge Chinese dancing whisper. I have a video from my phone to give you little idea of the nightly madness
All that surplus energy. Maybe it explains why China has done so well and the balance of wealth in the world is slipping east. Everyone is so worried about GDP and balance of payments, I think we should make everyone eat with chopsticks. It's worth a try.
Talking about energy, on a more serious note I was really moved by a TED talk I recently watched.Jane McGonigal is a game designer with an amazing tale to tell. By the way if you need a little extra positiveness (and who doesn't) I can recommend an hour or two on the TED website. :)
We are celebrating the Olympic opening with as much positive energy as we can muster.. in the form of a whole raft synchronised all dancing all singing special deals.
More good news: we had three containers delivered this week, from Indonesia, China and Thailand. See below.
Take care.. wishing you an happy and energetic Olympics.
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