My day began with some hide and seek. The mission was to find fibreglass to repair the damage to my trailer. This was harder than is sounds.
I visited a housing supplies market that sold everything from fencing to paint to door handles, and no one had it. Everyone had plenty of ideas on how I should use sheet steel to protect the base of the trailer however. Great ideas, but not what I was after right now. Right now I need to strengthen the crack.
In the end I was directed to a place that specialises in making fake trees. “If you can’t be bothered growing it, we’ll make it!” That may as well be their motto.
They had the stuff I was after. Good fibreglass mesh, and resin of some description. If you ever need fibreglass in Lanzhou, then go here:
For the small amount that I needed, they charged me nothing. They put the resin and the hardener in separate small PET bottles for me, and I was set.
I headed back to the inn, and commenced the process of repairing the crack, to the great interest of the owner.
The final product was as rough as anything, but it’ll do the trick for now. I put a full layer of fibreglass on the base of the trailer. A little more stuff to scrape away at for the next 3,500km. More on the repairs here at Skatefurther.com: http://www.skatefurther.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=69&start=30
Now, to the main event for today…the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. It was raining, but I donned my jacket and headed out to the massive screen in the central park in Lanzhou (Dongfang something or rather).
I arrived at around 7:30pm, so had a few minutes to kill. I treated myself to the Chinese equivalent to MacDonalds. A fast food chain called Dicos. For 20RMB, I got a chicken burger, some french fries, and a coke. It was enough to put in your eye. For the same price I could have eaten two full meals at a traditional Chinese eatery. Or eaten four meals worth of noodle soup. Bit of a rip off, if you ask me.
The crowd continued to grow as 8pm, 8th of the 8th month, 2008, approached.
By 8:30pm, the square was packed, umbrellas jostling for room.
As the ceremony progressed, a large group of students began the trade-mark chant chonguo jyayou, chonguo jyayou, chonguo jyayou, chonguo jyayou, chonguo jyayou. For translation, see this link. I felt suitably dressed in red.
I stayed until the Chinese athletes entered the stadium. It was a long wait in the rain. Near the end, the New Zealand team entered. At the risk of sounding biased, I did think the Kiwi’s uniform was one of the smartest. It was actually something that I myself would be happy to wear. As for the Australian uniform…well…to their credit, it did stand out on camera. Very dramatic as a group. But as for actually having to wear the shiny thing…no thanks.
Predictably, the Chinese crowd went wild when the Chinese athletes entered the Bird’s Nest. Great roars of approval.